How Did This Virginia Semi-Truck Explosion Happen, Killing The Driver?

By Peter DePaolis

wrongful deathA Virginia semi-truck explosion occurred earlier this month in a single vehicle collision that shut down Interstate 81. According to witnesses, the fuel truck’s tire blew out and caused the vehicle to overturn just off the highway. After overturning, the whole truck went up in flames. The driver did not survive this truck accident.

Why is a Virginia Truck Tire Blowout and Semi-truck Explosion Dangerous?

If you spend enough time driving on any highway, you can see blown-out tire fragments scattered along the side. These tire fragments are from semi-trucks and occur when tires are so damaged that they lose all air pressure at once and cause the truck driver to lose control of the vehicle. In some instances, the tire does not merely deflate, but explodes. The force of these dangerous tire blowouts can cause a semi-truck to swerve and even overturn, as is the case in Virginia. Typically, truck tire blowouts are caused by the following:

  • Poor maintenance – Truck companies are responsible for performing regular inspections and keeping a maintenance schedule for all of their big rigs. By law, companies are required to meet certain federal safety standards. When they fail to do so, truck drivers and other drivers on the road are at risk for a truck accident caused by malfunctioning equipment.
  • Improperly inflated tires – If a truck’s tires are either underinflated or overinflated, they are at risk for a blowout. An overinflated tire contains too much pressure, which can cause the tire to explode. On the other hand, underinflating the tire can cause heat to fill the empty space and also cause an explosion.
  • Overloaded trucks – An overloaded truck can put too much pressure on the tires and cause one or multiple tires to explode.
  • Roadway hazards – Even when a truck is perfectly maintained, the truck does not surpass its weight requirements and the driver is operating the truck safely, a tire blowout can still occur. When the roads have potholes, the pavement is uneven, the road has debris on it, tires can sustain damage and be at risk for a blowout.

While cities have a responsibility to maintain the roads, truck companies and truck drivers have a responsibility to regularly inspect and properly maintain the tires. If you have sustained injuries in a truck accident caused by a tire blowout, contact an attorney immediately to help determine the cause and find out what your rights are in the situation.

Virginia Truck Accident Lawyers

Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP is a personal injury law firm that helps injury victims. We help those injured due to truck accidents, car crashes, bicycle accidents and pedestrian accidents. Contact us today to speak to an experienced accident attorney. 


About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.