A tire tread separation accident on Highway 99 at Avenue 20 1/2 in Madera County involving a 1998 Ford Explorer sport utility vehicle (SUV) has killed Eleoterio Colohua Nezahuale, one of its five passengers, according to a news report in The Fresno Bee
The accident happened as the left rear tire of the Explorer separated, causing the driver to lose control. This is a common Ford Explorer rollover phenomenon. It has happened hundreds if not thousands of times.
California Highway Patrol (CHP) Officer Ronnie Lopez said the SUV spun, rolled over and came to a stop on the dirt shoulder of the highway. Nezahuale, a 45 â€“year-old Fresno resident who was reportedly traveling in the rear cargo area, without a seat belt, was ejected from the SUV. He was the only fatality in this accident. The other five people in the SUV, whose identities are not revealed, had worn their seat belts. The report did not state whether they suffered any injuries.
Based upon our experience with Ford Explorer tire separation, rollover accident cases, this accident was not the fault of the driver. Most likely, this accident was the fault of one or more of the following, the tire manufacturer, seller, installer and/or Ford Motor Company.
Car, SUV and truck tire defects and failures are a common precursor to rollover accident. This is especially true in top heavy, rollover prone SUVs such as the Ford Explorer, Ford Bronco, Chevrolet Blazer and 15-passenger vans..