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Runaway semi tire kills motorist

Both the state of New York and the federal government place regulations on semi trucks in an attempt to mitigate the danger they pose to the passenger vehicles. Unfortunately, despite these regulations, improper maintenance and semi driver errors often lead to serious and even fatal truck accidents.

Last week an apparent malfunction caused one of the wheels from a semi truck to detach and spin down the highway. The tire then bounced over the median and struck a car driven by a 62-year-old woman. The collision killed the driver and injured her 84-year-old mother who was a passenger in her car. The passenger's injuries were not thought to be life threatening.

According to law enforcement officials, the semi was traveling southbound on interstate 95, preparing to exit onto I-287. Before the truck went onto the exit ramp, one of the wheels from the trailer flew off. A spokesman for AAA told local news sources that this type of catastrophic equipment failure is likely maintenance related.

The truck driver did not stop but police were later able to identify him. It is unclear whether the driver was aware that the tire had separated from his vehicle. Police say they will question the driver once he turns himself in. He may face felony charges if they determine that the driver was aware of the accident when he left the scene.

Interstate 95 is one of the most heavily travelled interstates in the country and well known for its high volume of semi trucks.

Source: CBS News New York "Freak Accident Involving Tractor-Trailer On I-95 Leaves 62-Year-Old Woman Dead" Aug. 16, 2011

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