• 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 in La Salle County.

Authorities say the incident happened around 8:15 a.m. on I-35 near mile marker 46, roughly 7 miles north of Encinal. 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 tire 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. Tires don't just randomly slip off their axles without something going seriously wrong.

Is it technically possible for them to just work their way loose for no reason? Maybe, but people have known how to properly attach wheels to axles for centuries and the process has only gotten easier and more effective over time. Rather than a "freak accident," it's far more likely that someone screwed up in a serious way that had tragic results.

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

If so, then it's important to figure out who failed to do their job correctly. Was the vehicle properly maintained? Did a service shop or mechanic not attach the tire to the vehicle properly? Is there an issue with the parts involved, which could implicate a manufacturer? That's just a few of several possibilities, and each deserves careful investigation. I think most would agree that the folks who lost someone in this incident deserve real answers.

I hate to say it, but generally speaking police crash investigators lack the resources and time to get those answers. That's not a dig at law enforcement, but do they really have the time to pour over the truck's service logs, the expertise to analyze the physics behind how the tire detached, or the commitment to visit all the places that serviced the truck? If this crash is like others where tires break loose and cause mayhem, that's the kind of investigation needed to get a full picture of what happened here.

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