One Killed, Two Injured in Truck Tire Blowout Crash on Blue Star Hwy in Sussex County, VA
Sussex County, VA — September 4, 2022, an 11-year-old girl died when a truck blew a tire on I-95 and ran onto Blue Star Highway in Sussex County.
Authorities say the incident happened just before 4:30 p.m. on I-95 near Blue Star Highway. Preliminary investigation suggests a "converted ambulance truck" was traveling south on the interstate when it blew a passenger tire. The driver lost control and steered off the interstate, rolling onto Blue Star where it crashed into the passenger side of a Kia Forte.
An adult and two children in the Kia were seriously injured in the crash; the girl later died of her injuries.
The investigation continues but police say neither speed nor alcohol appear to be factors. No charges have been filed against the truck driver.
No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Sussex County Truck Accident on Blue Star Hwy
Accidents like this one, allegedly caused by tire blowouts, rarely get much attention or analysis. After all, if something on the road punctures a tire what's a truck driver to do but hold on and pray?
Here's the thing about trying to write the whole thing off that way: Road debris is a common cause of blowouts, but it's not the only one. For example, many blowouts occur due to neglected vehicle maintenance. If the truck's records show the tires needed to be replaced and one failed because of excessive wear and tear, then whoever owns the vehicle could be responsible for not taking appropriate care of it.
Yet another option that needs consideration is a manufacturing defect in the tire. Anything from poor design to a bad batch off the line can lead to blowouts without the driver doing anything wrong. Not only would the tire manufacturer need to be held accountable for such a crash, they'd also need to issue a recall before more people suffer the same fate.
I don't mean to overcomplicate things; for all I know there's a clear and obvious chunk of debris jutting out of the "converted ambulance truck"'s blown tire for all to see. I'm just trying to point out that there are more considerations than might first be apparent. So how do we determine if any of these elements or something else entirely was to blame? Well, that generally requires attention from experts with the particular tools and training to look at all the possibilities.
Differentiating between poor maintenance, unavoidable debris, defects, and other possible causes requires a lot more effort than just a glance from police. Hopefully steps are taken to make sure those affected by this crash know all the facts. They deserve no less.