A sport utility vehicle blew a tire the afternoon of July 22, 2009 causing a California car accident in San Bernardino County, which killed a 10-year-old girl. According to a news report in the Victorville Daily Press, the left rear tire tread of the SUV separated while the car was traveling in the fast lane of the 15 Freeway near Oak Hill Road. The driver, the girl’s mother, lost control of the SUV that spun around backward and careened into the guardrail across the freeway, California Highway Patrol officials said. The 10-year-old girl was pronounced dead at the scene. The girl’s cousin, uncle and the driver suffered minor injuries.

I offer my deepest sympathies to the family of this young girl who was killed in this car accident. My heart goes out to everyone who knew and loved this child, especially her grieving parents. Please keep this family in your prayers.

Tire Tread Separation Occurred

It seems to me, based on the news report that this fatal car accident was due to tire tread separation, which apparently caused the SUV to veer out of control. Tire failures and blowouts commonly occur when tires wear out during normal use. What is not common, but something the auto products liability attorneys at Bisnar | Chase, see periodically, is tire failure because of a defective tire. In such cases, tread separation occurs way before the tread on the tire has worn out. When a tread comes out, it becomes very difficult even for an experienced driver to retain control of the vehicle, especially if the car is traveling at freeway speeds.

If a tire tread separation is determined to have occurred because of a manufacturing or design defect, the victim’s family would have a claim against the tire manufacturer for compensation. In any vehicle defect case, it is extremely important to preserve the vehicle intact and unaltered, because it is now the primary piece of evidence. The vehicle in question must be carefully examined by an expert for product defects, mechanical malfunction and other evidence.

Possible Wrongful Death Claim

An experienced California personal injury lawyer will be able to help victims of defective products file an injury claim or wrongful death claim against the manufacturers. The best California car accident law firms will always offer a free and comprehensive initial consultation. In this particular case, I cannot imagine that any amount of compensation will soothe the pain of the parents who have lost a dear child. However, by holding wrongdoers accountable for their negligence that causes harm or injury, we press manufacturers to build safer products.