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Detached tire blamed for fatal 4-vehicle crash in New Jersey

Police in New Jersey have reported that a fatal accident involving four vehicles on March 26 was caused by a flying tire. The crash occurred on Interstate 80 near Denville at approximately 7 p.m. Police say that no charges have been filed in connection with the accident, but they added that their investigation into the incident remained open.

According to state police, the tire became detached from an eastbound pickup truck in the vicinity of mile-marker 37.6. The tire is then said to have flown over a concrete barrier before striking a sedan driven by a 77-year-old Englewood Cliffs man. The unexpected impact caused the man to lose control of his vehicle, which proceeded to strike a pickup truck and a car before leaving and then returning to the roadway.

First responders arriving at the car accident scene pronounced the man dead. His 66-year-old wife suffered injuries in the crash, and she was transported by paramedics to a hospital in Morristown for treatment. The drivers of the two vehicles struck by the sedan were not hurt.

Accidents such as this one often raise complex liability issues, and a personal injury attorney may scrutinize accident reports and vehicle inspections to identify negligent behavior. The owner of the vehicle involved could face civil sanctions if they were aware of a dangerous condition and did not take adequate steps to address it, and a mechanic or repair facility may also have acted negligently. A vehicle manufacturer could face a wrongful death lawsuit if they used defective parts or did not fully test their products, and inspection facilities may be pursued in civil court if they failed to identify a clear safety hazard. The dependent family members of those killed in auto collisions often suffer financial as well as emotional trauma, and a wrongful death lawsuit could seek compensation for their medical expenses, funeral costs and lost household income.

Source: WABC, “New Jersey man killed, wife hurt when tire detaches from car on I-80,” March 27, 2015

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