On Monday, a truck accident killed the 22-year old driver of a minivan. And the trucker didn’t even stop or know he had caused the accident. As the truck was driving northbound on I-75 toward the Lockland split, a large tire and a portion of its wheel assembly came free. The wheel and assembly bounced forward and across the median into southbound traffic where it barely missed several vehicles before crushing into the windshield of the Ford, killing the driver.

Two witnesses say they saw the tire come off the truck and say it almost struck them. Footage from traffic cameras shows the rear of the truck smoking heavily before the wheel came loose, but it does not give an indication of whether the trucker should have known the wheel had come off. When the trucker stopped at a nearby truck stop, he called authorities to report the incident.

This incident was the third fatal “wheel-off” accident in March. Semi truck wheels come off on a regular basis due to the extreme amount of wear that long-haul semi trucks suffer on a daily basis, and may often cause truck accidents. These accidents are generally not purely accidental, but are the result of negligence because they can be prevented. Sometimes the cause is as simple as a missing or poorly tightened lug nut, but the results are catastrophic.

A trucking company must first ensure its fleet is composed of reliable vehicles without faulty equipment. Next, the trucking company must properly maintain its fleet to prevent equipment failure on the roads. Finally, a truck driver must be aware of the condition of his truck. This goes beyond just inspecting the vehicle at the beginning of the day and regularly according to FMCSA regulations. It also means being aware of the condition of the truck while driving, and when the rear of the truck is smoking, a driver should pull aside to investigate the cause.

If you have been hurt or lost a loved one as a result of loose parts, cargo, or other truck-related debris, you may be able to receive compensation for your loss. The personal injury lawyers of Robert W. Kerpsack, CO, LPA stand ready to help you. Please contact us today for a free initial consultation.