• June 30, 2022

Fredarion Swafford Injured in Tire Blowout Crash on I-20 in Reeves County, TX

UPDATE (July 11, 2022): Sources have identified the victim of this accident as 29-year-old Fredarion Swafford.

Reeves County, TX — June 10, 2022, a 29-year-old man was seriously injured in a tire blowout crash on Interstate 20 in Reeves County.

According to reports the incident happened around 8:30 p.m. on I-20 near mile marker 2. Preliminary investigation suggests the victim was driving a GMC Denali west on the highway some distance behind a Freightliner tractor-trailer.

Reports say the GMC driver started to pass the truck when the SUV's left-rear tire blew out. It ran off the road into the median and the driver counter-steered, crossing back into the road and hitting the trailer of the Freightliner. The GMC then entered a side-skid and rolled over, coming to rest upright in the north barrow ditch.

The SUV driver suffered serious injuries in the wreck. The truck driver was unhurt.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Fredarion Swafford Accident in Reeves County

People have an unfortunate tendency to write tire blowout accidents off without much scrutiny. The general assumption is that something in the road--vehicle debris, a loose nail--kicked up and punctured the tire. Because that's so common folks sometimes blame every wreck on it without considering alternatives. Road debris is not the only possible explanation; for instance, what if the tire was defective?

It's one thing if something on the road punched through the rubber, but it's another entirely if it failed due to poor design or fabrication by its makers. Under those circumstances the tire's manufacturer may be liable for any crash caused by their faulty product.

Fredarion Swafford Injured in Tire Blowout Crash on I-20 in Reeves County, TX

Here's the thing, though: Distinguishing a defect from a typical tire blowout can be pretty complex and requires certain tools and forensic training. Law enforcement rarely prioritizes tire reconstruction, though, and doesn't train boots-on-the-ground investigators to make heads or tails of why a tire gave way. In most cases where a tire blows out and the cause isn't clear I suggest involving independent experts with the right equipment and know-how to figure it out.

If a defective tire was at the root of this crash, its maker may have a duty to help the person hurt by it. Beyond that, the manufacturer might also need to recall other tires from that production run or else risk thousands of other vehicles crashing in the same way. Hopefully appropriate care will be taken to learn the whole story and the right steps be taken once the facts are in.

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