• November 08, 2022

Susan Dagrosa Killed by Loose Tire on New Jersey Turnpike in East Windsor

East Windsor, NJ — November 6, 2022, 75-year-old Susan Dagrosa died when one vehicle's tire crashed through another's windshield on the New Jersey Turnpike.

Authorities say the incident happened late Sunday afternoon along the turnpike. Preliminary investigation suggests an Acura RDX SUV was traveling south when its left-front tire detached for unknown reasons. The loose tire then traveled through the center divider into the northbound lanes and bounced into the windshield of a northbound Acura.

Dagrosa, a passenger in the northbound vehicle, suffered fatal injuries when the tire crashed through its windshield. No other injuries were reported.

The investigation is ongoing. No charges have been filed and no further information is currently available.

Commentary on Susan Dagrosa Accident in East Windsor

News reports referred to this incident as a "freak accident," which I feel reflects a general public regard for unusual crashes like this as tragic but unavoidable. I certainly wouldn't disagree with the tragedy part, but contrary to popular opinion these accidents are usually preventable. The big question in their aftermath is who failed to do so.

Most of the time a whole tire coming off--rather than a blowout or treat separation--is the result either of failure to properly secure the tire or failure to make necessary repairs and replacements. Typically responsibility for both those things falls on the vehicle's owner, but it's not out of the question that a dealership failed to maintain the vehicle or a repair shop messed up when it was on a lift. There's even a possibility, however unlikely, that a defective part led the tire to detach, and if so the manufacturer should answer for that and issue a recall to prevent further mishaps.

Susan Dagrosa Killed by Loose Tire on New Jersey Turnpike in East Windsor

Frankly, determining whether one of those situations or something else entirely caused the wheel to come loose is a little beyond the experience or toolkit of the average police investigator. That's why I'm so adamant about independent accident reconstructionists and the steps they can taken to ensure the victims and families are getting the answers they deserve.

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