Massachusetts man killed when tire flies off flatbed

Commercial vehicles and semi trucks are common on the Massachusetts’ roads, many of them carrying heavy loads and dangerous products. We trust that the cargo will stay safely on the truck and not present a risk to other travelers, but truck accidents involving cargo can and do happen.

Just a few weeks ago, a 27-year-old man from Lynn, Massachusetts, was killed when a solid-core tire weighing 400 pounds came loose from a flatbed truck and smashed through his windshield on Interstate 93 in Somerville.

According to police, the man was pronounced dead at Massachusetts General Hospital later that day. The windshield of his Mitsubishi Galant had been shattered and the roof of the car had also been “crunched down,” police told the Boston Herald.

There were four of the heavy-duty tires on the flatbed truck, police said. The one that fell off had been held down by only one strap. When it came loose, it bounced from the truck traveling in the southbound lane over the median and collided with the Galant that was traveling northbound.

The truck was being leased by Sullivan Tire and was being driven by a 62-year-old New Hampshire man. The tire company released a statement expressing sorrow for the accident.

An investigation will likely follow to determine if the tire was properly fastened to the flatbed. If it’s determined that the tires had been negligently fastened to the flatbed, the tire company could face legal liability for the accident.

Highway accidents like this are much more common than they should be in Massachusetts. In a similar accident this month, an elderly woman who was riding as a backseat passenger in a family van was killed when a backhoe fell off of a semi truck and collided into the van on Interstate 495 in Southboro.

Source: Boston Herald, “Cops: Lynn driver killed by runaway tire on I-93,” Joe Dwinell and Ira Kantor, Sept. 20, 2011.