Four Injured in SUV Tire Blowout Accident on I-35 in Johnson County, KS
Johnson County, KS — July 7, 2022, four people were injured when an SUV blew a tire and crashed into a semi-truck on Interstate 35 in Johnson County.
According to reports the incident happened around 1:30 p.m. on northbound I-35 near 175th Street. Preliminary investigation suggests an SUV was headed south on the highway when one of its tires blew out, causing it to swerve through the median and collide with a northbound tractor-trailer.
The SUV's four occupants suffered non-life-threatening injuries and were taken to an area hospital. The truck driver was unhurt.
No further information is available at this time.
Commentary on Tire Blowout Crash on I-35 in Johnson 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 not much can be done about holding anyone responsible for that. However, road debris isn't the only possible explanation. What if the tire was defective?
It's one thing if something on the road punched through the tire, 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 a crash caused by their faulty product. Such defects aren't particularly common, but they do happen and are often overlooked by investigators who don't know how to recognize their signs.
Distinguishing a defect from a typical tire blowout can be pretty complex and requires certain tools and forensic training. Police rarely prioritize tire reconstruction, though, and don't train their rank-and-file officers to make heads or tails of why a tire gave way. When that happens and the cause isn't clear, I often 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.