Low Tire Pressure May Have Caused Fatal Accident

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One man was killed Friday morning on I-15 near Apex as he drove to work. Authorities believe a faulty tire is to blame.

The driver of the Nissan Pathfinder lost control, and the vehicle rolled over. The passenger in the vehicle was killed while the driver was taken to UMC with minor injuries. Both of the men in the car were wearing their seat belts, but the mostly likely cause according to state troopers was tire tread separation.

That’s where the tread separates from the tire unexpectedly. In this case, it happened on the highway at a high rate of speed. The two men were carpooling from Las Vegas to their jobs in Mesquite.

It’s a drive they made everyday, only today, Trooper Kevin Honea says the tires failed.

“Looks preliminarily like the right, rear tire tread separated from the tire itself,” said Honea.

It happened on I-15 about 15 miles north of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Trooper Honea says the driver lost control and drifted into the center median. He says the driver then overcorrected, trying to get back on the highway, and flipped the SUV, killing the passenger.

“In this case, we do not know what the tire pressures were or what caused that tire to separate,” said Honea.

The tires on the SUV had plenty of tread left. Honea says low tire pressure is the most common cause of tread separation, so we conducted a little test.

Most drivers we talked to don’t check their tire pressure. We even found an SUV in the NHP parking lot with low tires.

“That is completely lapped over. You can see right here, it should be standing up. That one is probably a little low in the rear, but the front is very, very low,” said Honea.

Low tire pressure is the number one cause of tire failure. In the accident Friday morning, we do not know if low tire pressure led to the tread separation. Still, it’s a reminder to check your tires.

Email your comments to Reporter Edward Lawrence

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