Royals’ Infielder’s Father Killed By Runaway Tire In Freak Accident


Posted on 13th March 2011 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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The father of Kansas City Royals Minor League infielder Anthony Seratelli was killed in a freak accident when a runaway tire crashed into the windshield of his car on the Garden State Parkway in New Jersey, according to The Star-Ledger of Newark.

Russell Seratelli, 47, of Matawan, N.J., died in the Feb. 28 accident, which took place near parkway exit 128 in Kenilworth. Seratelli was driving a Hyundai Sonata when a tire and rim, which had fallen off a Honda Accord, bounced over a median and flew into his lane.

The tired went through Seratelli’s windshield, killing him. His daughter, Danielle Seratelli, 25, was a passenger in the car but wasn’t injured.     

The elder Seratelli’s son, Anthony, left the Royals’ Minor League training camp in Arizona to come home after his father’s death.

 “We received some terrible news this morning when we learned of the untimely passing of Russell Seratelli, father of Royals’ Minor League infielder Anthony Seratelli, yesterday near the family home in New Jersey,” Scott Sharp, the Royals’ director of Minor League operations, said in a statement.

“Our organization prides itself on not only getting to know our athletes, but the families of each athlete, and this tragedy has cut deeply into every one of us. On behalf of the Kansas City Royals, our thoughts and prayers are with Anthony and his entire family as they mourn the passing of an outstanding father and gentleman.”

Continental Concorde Verdict, ‘Criminalization’ Of Crashes, May Have Chilling Effect


Posted on 8th December 2010 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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 Continental Airlines’ conviction of involuntary homicide in a crash that killed 113 people may “discourage open discussion of flight hazards,” The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

The story, “In Wake of Concorde Verdict, A Heated Air Safety Debate,” was a reaction piece to a French court fining Continental $1.6 million for the crash of an Air France Concorde a decade ago.

The court found that Continental and one of its mechanics didn’t properly maintain a plane, which dropped debris on a runway at Charles de Gaulle airport in 20o0. The Concorde hit the debris and damaged a tire, sending  rubber from that tire slamming into the plane and causing a fuel leak. The Concorde then crashed.

“The trial is the latest example of a world-wide trend to pursue criminal charges in airliner accidents, which many aviation experts worry threatens to erode safety by chilling early, open discussions of hazards,” The Journal reported.

That is such a big fear that the International Aviation Organization, part of the United Nations, will be asking governments “to avoid the criminalization of mistakes,” according to The Journal.

There is also the belief by some that the French Court found Continental guilty because the horrific crash was caused by non-French people.  

Continental plans to appeal the court’s decision.      

Six Bronx Church Members Killed When Van Flips Over After Tire Blowout


Posted on 19th September 2010 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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Six people were killed — including the bishop and pastor of a Bronx church — when their van’s rear tire blew out Saturday, ending with the vehicle repeatedly rolling over on the New York State Thruway.

In addition to the fatalities, eight of the van’s passengers were injured in the accident, which took place around 3 p.m. Saturday near the Woodbury Commons outlet mall in New York. Bodies were scattered on the Thruway, covered with sheets. 

There were 14 people in the Ford van, members of the Joy Fellowship Chutch who were on their way to visit a sister church, First Light Christian Assemblies, in Albany, N.Y. 

In its account, The New York Times quoted Pasquale Prozzillo, a second assistant chief in the Woodbury Fire Department, who said the van’s driver lost control after the vehicle blew its tire.

“The van rolled three to four times,” Prozzillo told The Times. “Seven people got ejected.”

The church’s bishop, Simon White, died in the accident, as did his wife Zelda White, and pastor Titus McGhie. The other fatalities were Avril Murray, Evelyn Ferguson and Elaine Reid.

One survivor, Veronica Francis, 52, had injuries to both legs and a deep cut above her eye. Her husband Patrick told the New York Post that his wife lost consciousness when the van rolled over, which means she also suffered a concussion.


Tire Accident Foul-Up: Victim Reported Killed Is Alive, While One Believed Alive Is Dead


Posted on 26th July 2010 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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A young Arizona woman, a passenger in an SUV, was killed when the vehicle’s tire blew out and it flipped over. But the accident caused even more heartache than it had to when authorities screwed up and misidentified the woman’s body, telling  the family of a teen-aged girl who actually survived the crash that she had died at the scene.

Humans are fallible and make mistakes, but one would hope that this kind of situation wouldn’t happen. But it has happened before. I have encountered such a mix-up in my own practice, so I know it does occur. occur.

In this instance, the relatives and friends of Abby Guerra, 19, a soccery star from Glendale, Ariz., were told by authorities that she had died in the SUV accident July 18. But in fact Guerra was lying in a hospital alive. Officials had mistakenly identified the deceased victim, who was actually Marlena Cantu, 21.

Abby did sustain serious head injuries, but she’s alive. So now her family can end their mourning and stop making funeral plans, and hope she recovers. But the Cantu family, which has been keeping watch over Abby at the hospital, believing she was their daughter Marlena, are now the ones that will have to mourn and make arrangements.

Guerra, who has a soccer scholarship to the University of Evansville in Indiana, and Cantu were returning from a trip to Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., when the SUV’s left-rear tire blew out. There were three other passengers in the vehicle with them.

Tyler Parker, 20, died the next day at a Phoenix hospital. The two other passengers, including misidentified Guerra, were also taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix, undergoing treatment for serious head wounds. She is in critical condition after sustaining brain injury, a broken back and a collapsed lung. Her face was so banged up, she was virtually unrecognizable. She had black eyes and her face was swollen. She had undegone brain surgery, so her head was shaved.

Unfortunately, her future as a soccer player appears dim at this point, but at least she is alive.

The misidentification was made because officials announced that Guerra was dead before the medical examiner’s office had a chance to compare medical records for a positive ID. That record check didn’t take place until a week after the accident.

St. Joseph’s said that its doctor shortage and huge volume of patients is what delayed the medical record comparison.

I’m sure that’s little solace to the Guerra and Cantu families.        


California Woman Dies When Shredded Tire Causes Pick-Up To Flip


Posted on 6th July 2010 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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 A California woman was killed, and her husband injured, when one of their tires shredded, causing their pickup truck to roll over several times on Monday.

The accident involved a F-250 Super Duty pick-up going north on Interstate 15 in Victorville, Calif. 

Jerry Wayne Hooker, 55, of Bloomington, Calif., was driving with his wife Gloria Lyn Ziegenmeyer-Hooker, 57, in a fast lane when suddenly his tire lost pressure. He tired to pull over, but then his tire shredded. The truck then flipped repeatedly.

 Rescuers found the couple trapped in their vehicle. Ziegenmeyer- Hooker was pronounced dead at the scene.

Hooker was taken by Mercy Air to Antelope Valley Hospital. He injured his right shoulder and had cuts on his face.

Cooper Tire Maker Sued For Fatal Florida Wreck That Killed Four Students


Posted on 13th June 2010 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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A negligence lawsuit alleges that a faulty Cooper  tire was to blame for an accident that killed four Jacksonville, Fla., high school students last year, according to The Florida Times-Union.

The suit was filed by the family of one of the teenagers killed in the accident, and it named Cooper Tire and Rubber Co. and three others as defendants.

The fatal crash took place on Interstate 295 on the last day of school in 2009 for Ed White High School. The students were heading to the beach in an Explorer SUV when its left rear tire had a blowout, causing the crash. 

Four students died and four others were injured when the tread of their Explorer’s left rear tire separated. The tire was a Cooper Cobra, and the suit alleges that Cooper’s manufacturing techniques make the treads of its tires more prone to separating.

The lawyer for one of the teens that died, 16-year-old Shannon Bloom, said that Cooper has had many cases of its tires separating, causing accidents. There are numerous negligence suits pending against the tire maker.

 A spokesman for Cooper Tire told The Times-Union that the fatal accident wasn’t caused by his company’s tires or their design. The tire maker pointed out that the Explorer involved in the Florida accident is only supposed to seat five people.

But the day of the accident, the Explorer had nine people on board, and only one was wearing a seat belt, the driver Brandon Hodges. Cooper Tire also pointed out that Hodges didn’t have a driver’s license at the time of the accident.

Hodges, 16, has been charged with driving without a license causing death. He is awaiting trial.

Accident victim Bloom’s attorney contends that he can prove that the crash would have happened even if an experienced driver had been behind the wheel.

The Explorer was owned by the parents of one of the teens hurt in the crash, Rebecca Pilkington, 16.  The SUV had been in for service about two weeks before the crash, and a Cooper distributor, Big Chief’s Tire Co., replaced two of its tires.   






Arizona Appellate Court Clears Jiffy Lube Of Liability In Tire Inspection


Posted on 13th May 2010 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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A Jiffy Lube station is off the hook for not telling a customer that his tire treads has been warn down dangerously low, the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled.

In the case at hand the plaintiff brought his parent’s vehicle to a Jiffy Lube to have its oil changed. As part of the service, Jiffy Lube checked out the car’s tire pressure.

But then a few weeks after the oil change the plaintiff had an accident where he lost control of the car while driving on a wet road. He was paralyzed when the car rolled over.

His family had charged that Jiffy Lube had a responsibility to inspect that car’s tires and report on any wear that could lead to an accident.

The chain doesn’t replace tires or sell them, but it will rotate them for an additional fee. But the plaintiff has only paid for the oil change service.

But Arizona’s appeals court agreed with a summary judgment that had been in favor of Jiffy Lube.  

“(We) disagree with plaintiffs that their contractual relationship with Jiffy Lube extended to a safety inspection of the vehicle’s tires such that Jiffy Lube owed a duty of reasonable care to inspect the tires,” the appeals court said. “The oil change agreement between Jiffy Lube and plaintiffs included only a check of thei air pressure in the tires, not an overall inspection.”  


Two Suffern NY High School Teens Die In Collision With Dump Truck

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Posted on 1st April 2010 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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Two Suffern, N.Y., high school baseball players died Tuesday when a dump truck hit their car on Route 202 in Montebello, N.Y.

Vincent Crotty, 18, the driver of a Ford Focus, and his passenger Christopher Konkowski, 17, were pronounced dead at the scene.

The two Suffern High School seniors, who both played for the Mounties baseball team, were on their way to practice at about 11 a.m. when the crash took place.

Crotty’s Focus crossed a double line and was then hit by a dump truck driven by Francisco Abarca, 57, of Succasunna, N.J. The Focus was sideways across the road when Abarca hit it with his Volvo Tri-Axle dump truck.

Abarca was not injured in the accident.

Police were trying to determine if a heavy rain and slippery road led to the crash.

Needless to say, the tragic death shook up the town, as relatives of the deceased and fellows students flocked to the crash scene. Police had to move the crowd back so they could reconstruct the accident before removing the body of the teens.

So there will be two youths have had their final season of high school baseball, and their lives, snatched away from them. Is the culprit the tires on their vehicle? If the tires in front have more tread on them than the tires in back, this can cause the vehicle to hydroplane and lose control in heavy rain. For more, see It is so critical that the tires are kept on this vehicle until they can be examined by an expert.

Texas Couple Sues Goodyear After Motorcycle Crash

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Posted on 31st March 2010 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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A Texas couple is suing Goodyear Dunlop because they allege that a D250 Radial motorcycle tire was defective, making them crash and suffer severe injuries.

Martin Stricker of Brownwood, Texas, was riding his Honda GL 1800 Gold Wing with his wife Loretta on the back on US 67 south of Abilene, Texas, when the motorcycle’s rear tire “suddenly and without warning deflated,” according to the lawsuit.

During the Aug. 8, 2008 accident the motorcycle slid sideways, flipped over and ejected Stricker and his wife.

The personal injury lawsuit also names as defendants Honda Motor Co. and Woods Fun Center of Austin, Texas, which sold Stricker the bike and the tire. The suit alleges that Woods replaced the used tires on the motorcycle with tires they claimed were new, when in fact the rear tire was six years old. There was a defective bead in the tire, which caused it to deflate, the suit claims.

For more on lawsuits related to improper installation of tires, go to

Cooper Tire Must Pay Out $32.8 Million in Fatal Minivan Rollover Accident


Posted on 24th March 2010 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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A jury has awarded $32.8 million in damages against Cooper Tire & Robber Co. in a case involving a fatal minivan rollover in Iowa. A jury in Des Moines, Iowa, found that Cooper was liable for the accident, which involved a Chrysler minivan that had Cooper tires on it. The panel determined that the tire that was on the minivan wasn’t “state of the art” when it was designed and made. Lawyers for the plaintiffs maintained that the tire was defective.

Cooper Tire plans to appeal the large jury verdict. The tire maker defended its tires as safe, blaming its failure on its “long-term underinflated operation.”

The Grand Voyager minivan, owned by plaintiff Achol Deng Meiwan, had gotten a nail in it, for some time. The nail was still in the tire after the accident.

The van was filled with co-workers from the Swift & Co. meatpacking plant in Marshalltown, Iowa.

The jury awarded Ivan Toe, a 39-year-old woman who became a paraplegic from the accident, $28.4 million. Her children are to receive $65,000.

The estate of a woman who lost her life in the accident, Assata Karlar, 28, will get $649,000. Her husband will receive $420,000, with their five children awarded more than $1 million.

Cooper Tire must also pay punitive damages of $1.5 million.