• September 02, 2022

Miguel Morales Killed in Loose Truck Tire Accident on I-35 near Encinal, TX

Encinal, TX — September 1, 2022, 40-year-old Miguel Alejandro Morales died when a loose truck tire hit his vehicle on Interstate 35 near Encinal.

Authorities say the incident happened around 8:15 a.m. on I-35, roughly 7 miles north of town in La Salle County. Preliminary investigation suggests an International 18-wheeler was traveling south on the freeway as Morales drove a Ford Expedition north in the same area.

According to early reports, the semi-truck's left tires on axle 3 detached for unknown reasons. One of the tires rolled through the median and entered the northbound lanes, then bounced up into the Expedition's windshield.

Morales suffered fatal injuries in the crash. No other injuries were reported.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Miguel Morales Accident near Encinal

I've seen some comment on this incident that it was just a "freak accident." I don't really buy that. In order for a tire to simply detach from an axle, we'd have to assume that the truck struck an object that broke the axle or magically just fell off it somehow.

Is that physically possible? Maybe, but people have known how to attach wheels to axles in a way they don't fly off for centuries. Given the sturdiness of the material involved in modern vehicles, it's far more likely that someone had to screw up in order for this to happen. From where I'm sitting, it sounds far more likely that someone failed to do their job than this was a freak accident.

Miguel Morales Killed in Loose Truck Tire Accident on I-35 near Encinal, TX

If my suspicion is correct, then it becomes important to figure out who failed to do their job correctly. Was the vehicle properly maintained? Was their an issue where a service shop didn't properly attached the tire to the vehicle? Is their an issue with the parts involved, which would implicate a manufacturer? I think we can all agree that the folks who lost someone in this incident deserve answers to those questions.

I hate to say it, but generally speaking, crash investigators usually lack the resources and time to properly provide these answers. This is no slight to crash investigators, but do they really have the time to pour over the truck's service logs, the expertise to analyze the physics behind how this tire detached, or the ability to visit all of the places that performed maintenance on this vehicle? I know from my own experience that if this crash is like others where tires become detached, that's likely the kind of investigation that will be needed to get a full picture of what happened here.

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