A Lexington man was killed recently when a wheel came loose from another vehicle and struck his car. The victim, a twenty-six-year-old man, was driving north on Route 128 when one of the rear wheels of a southbound pickup truck fell off. The wheel flew over the median, glanced off one vehicle, and then hit the victim’s car in the windshield. The victim died at the scene, but there were no other reports of injury.
No charges have been filed in this tragic incident, but it’s still under investigation.
Despite the unlikely nature of what happened, we’re hesitant to call this a “freak accident,” as some press reports have. If a crash and a fatality like this happened once a year, maybe we’d agree with that assessment. But some form of mechanical failure is estimated to be behind about 2 percent of all crashes on American roads. Problems with tires and wheels accounted for about one-third of those mechanical-failure crashes.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released a related study last year quantifying the danger of road debris, which includes parts and cargo that fall from other vehicles. It found that crashes of this kind happen many times every day and that someone is killed because of an accident like this on average more than twice every week.
It’s not unusual each year to see several reports of crashes caused by road debris, with some causing injury and a few of them fatal. Late last month, a woman was injured on Route 9 in Southborough when debris crashed through the roof of her car.
Seasonal conditions can also cause problems, as the recent late-winter (and early spring) storms have shown. When drivers don’t remove the snow and ice from their vehicles before hitting the road, it can lead to trouble. A West Roxbury man was injured in March when a heavy piece of ice fell off a truck ahead of him and smashed into his windshield. The state police and other agencies repeatedly warn the public each winter to show more caution, but not everyone takes the message seriously.
Whatever the cause of the crash, when you’ve been the victim of a car accident, you want justice. You may have damage to your vehicle that needs repair, medical expenses to pay, income to make up, and possibly ongoing care or rehabilitation costs. An important first step in securing your recovery is to discuss the situation with an experienced automobile accident law firm, such as Joel H. Schwartz, PC. We’ve dealt with many cases, and we’re ready to help with yours. Talk to us today at 1-800-660-2270 or contact us online through the form below to schedule a free consultation to review your situation.