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Four Killed in Eagle Rock SUV Crash Caused by Tire Blowout

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Four people were killed and two were injured in a Los Angeles area car accident after their vehicle went out of control and flew off the 134 Freeway. According to the Los Angeles Times, the fatal crash occurred the night of August 12, 2012 on the 134 Freeway in Eagle Rock. California Highway Patrol officials say a 1999 Ford Expedition that was traveling east in the far left lane hit an asphalt curb, rolled twice and fell through the space between the bridges and about 35 feet onto North Figueroa Street.

Tire Blowout

Witnesses told officials that the Expedition’s driver lost control after a problem with one of the tires. Tire debris was coming off the vehicle before it rolled, officials said. Three people including a 11-year-old girl, a man and a woman died at the scene. Another man died later at the hospital. Two others, a woman and a 6-year-old girl who was thrown from the SUV before it fell off the freeway, remain hospitalized. An investigation is ongoing.

I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and friends of these deceased car accident victims. My thoughts and prayers are also with the seriously injured victims. I wish them the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.

Design Defects

Based on this news report, the SUV rollover accident occurred due to a blown tire. Witnesses state that a tire tread separation may have occurred as well. It is not clear if a defective tire led to the accident. Ford Expedition models from the late 1990s are notorious for its poor design. Due to these vehicles’ high center of gravity and narrower track width, they have a propensity to roll over. When a tire blowout occurs on one of these vehicles, it may be impossible for the driver to regain control.

Liability Issues

If this crash occurred due to a defectively designed vehicle or a defective tire, the automaker and/or the manufacturer of the defective tire can be held liable for the victims’ wrongful death. In such cases, it would be a good idea to preserve the vehicle in its current condition so that an expert can examine it thoroughly for tire defects, design flaws, malfunctions and other evidence. An experienced personal injury attorney in Los Angeles who has successfully handled auto products liability cases involving Ford SUVs will be able to better advise victims’ families and injured victims with regard to their legal rights and options.

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