• May 30, 2017

Miguel Reyes Jr. Killed, 4 Injured in Beaumont, TX, Car Accident

Beaumont, TX -- May 27, 2017, Miguel Reyes Jr. was killed, four others were injured following an accident where their vehicle rolled over.

According to details released by the Texas Department of Public Safety, the fatal incident took place along I-10 near the intersection of FM 365 in the afternoon hours of Saturday.

Investigators reported that 14-year-old Reyes was one of five occupants in a Ford Escape that was traveling along the interstate. Suddenly, one of the vehicle's tires blew out, causing the vehicle to lose control. In the process, the car flipped over several times, trapping the occupants.

A witness stopped to call emergency services and assist the victims. Reyes Jr. succumbed to fatal injuries before EMS could arrive. The other four were taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

No further information is currently available.

Map of the Area

Commentary

This tragic accident is an example of when I tell people that not all single-vehicle accidents are the driver's fault. There are factors, such as tire blowouts, which give little to no warning to drivers, leaving them helpless in the event of an incident. However, there are also some beliefs surrounding tire blowouts which also need to be addressed. Namely, many people believe that a tire blowout is nothing more than an unavoidable, freak occurrence caused by a nail or some other road hazard puncturing the tire. While this is certainly a possibility, there are many other things that can cause these accidents which can be avoided. Let's look at the three main causes for tire blowouts and how they come about.

Cause 1: Foreign Debris

This factor is what many people tend to think of after a tire blowout. This means that an object of some sort punctured, popped, or shredded the tire from the outside, causing the blowout. This can be anything from a large rock to nails near a construction site to sharp debris fallen off of other vehicles. This sort of factor rarely results in someone being held liable for the accident, since most of the time the object is either natural or difficult to trace back to its source.

Cause 2: Poor Maintenance

This is also a pretty common factor in these accidents, but it's not always considered after reports come out. It should go without saying that tires wear down after a while, and once they get to a certain point, they're at an extreme risk for structural failure. People have a responsibility to keep their tires in good repair and to replace old ones which have worn to thin. Otherwise, the tires can be more easily penetrated by foreign debris or simply blow out due to wear and tear.

However the driver isn't always at fault for this, either. I've seen more than a few cases where someone took their vehicle into an auto shop to get their tires replaced. In an effort to save money, the shop replaced their tires with old tires instead of new ones. The driver, putting trust in a professional shop just as many of us might do, didn't realize this happened. Eventually the substandard tires blew out and caused the accident. This isn't all that common, but it definitely happens and should be considered as a possibility.

Cause 3: Manufacturing Defect

The third and perhaps most pressing of possible factors, this cause involves the tire blowing due to a mistake on the manufacturer's part. One high profile example of this is when Ford had a rash rollover accidents with their SUVs. After the accidents were investigated by industry professionals, they determined that the tires which were being shipped on the vehicle were too small for the SUV's weight. This meant that the tires experienced an abnormally and dangerously high amount of stress during use. This resulted in several blowouts and rollovers, injuring and even killing drivers. Had the vehicles been shipped with tires rated for the weight of the vehicle, this probably could have been avoided entirely.

Another example of a manufacturing defect would be the structural integrity of the tire itself. Whether the design of the tire was not done properly or perhaps a particular batch of tires were made poorly, a weak point on the tire can blow out during normal use if it is not up to standard of what it should be.

It may surprise some people that there are this many things that can go wrong with tires and why they don't often hear about them. The fact of the matter is that many of these causes are both uncommon and also incredibly subtle, meaning they're difficult to detect unless one has the experience and technology necessary to detecting them. Quite frankly, most police departments do not have the time, experience, or resources necessary to doing as thorough a job as is warranted in these kinds of accidents.

This is why I advocate that anyone affected by an accident like this look into having the incident examined by a tire specialist. These are professionals independent of police who have years of experience in these matters, know all the possible factors involved, and have state-of-the-art technology to ensure those factors are either ruled out or confirmed through tangible evidence. Doing this can mean the difference between just another freak occurrence and the discovery of a serious problem which needs to be addressed. While there's no way to guarantee someone can be held liable for the accident, there is no better way to find a resolution to a difficult time than to know the full story of what occurred.

--Grossman Law Offices

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