Couple Dies in Motorcycle Crash Caused by Blown Tire
A South Florida couple was recently killed on U.S. 27. The two were on a motorcycle when one of their tires blew, causing them to careen off the road. Fifty-five-year-old Stephen Gardella and his partner, fifty-seven-year-old Diana Mowatt were thrown from the motorcycle into traffic, according to witnesses. The couple was coming back from a dinner date with another couple who they met at a local restaurant.
While the cause of the tire failure is still under investigation, we can guess at some of the possible causes.
Motorcycle Tire Failure
Despite the fact that there is less weight on a motorcycle tire, the tires themselves are also smaller. Since those who are on motorcycles are exposed to the road without protection, these types of accidents tend to be quite serious and fatalities are likely when a blowout occurs.
Motorcycle tires are more prone to losing pressure slowly due to a lack of a tire-pressure monitoring system. For the rider, they may notice that their steering becomes more difficult and labored. That would be their only clue that their tire is losing air.
When the back tire blows out, the rider is likely to experience swaying and in a worst-case scenario, the motorcycle will capsize and skid out. When the front tire blows out, as seems to be the case in the aforementioned article, it can cause the motorcycle to flip forward, which is what it sounds like happened here. The front tire blew causing the motorcycle to jerk to a stop, catapulting the couple into traffic.
If the tire failure was due to a manufacturing defect, a design defect, or used substandard materials that increased the risk of failure, then the manufacturer could be held liable under the theory of product liability. If some dangerous road condition like a pothole causes the tire blowout, it may be possible to hold the municipality responsible if they had forewarning of the problem. In some cases, it’s a mechanic who is responsible for negligently installing the tire. Mechanics may install the wrong tire for the vehicle or improperly install the tire contributing to the possibility of a crash or blowout. And of course, sometimes the rider is responsible for the crash for failing to maintenance the tires properly or driving on expired tires.
Since both of the victims died in the crash, it will be up to a living family member to file a wrongful death lawsuit against a liable party, if one is found. It is typical in crashes like this to examine the tire for possible defects that could explain why it blew out while the couple was on the bike. If it turns out that the tire was defective, members of either (or both) families may file a lawsuit on their loved one’s behalf.
Talk to a Florida Defective Tire Attorney Today
If you believe that a tire failure incident is the result of a manufacturing or design defect, the Coral Gables tire defect attorneys at Halpern, Santos & Pinkert can launch an investigation into the cause of your accident. If it turns out that it was caused by a manufacturer’s mistake, our attorneys can file a lawsuit on your behalf. Give us a call to schedule a free consultation.