A Sumter County woman was killed and her passenger seriously injured Saturday evening following a one-vehicle wreck in Sumter County.

The 64-year-old Center Hill, Florida resident was driving a 2008 Ford Taurus when a tire apparently blew out around 10:40 p.m. The Florida Highway Patrol believes the blowout caused her to lose control of the vehicle, skid off road and strike an embankment before overturning.

Before the vehicle stopped, troopers claim the sedan slammed into a tree. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

Her 65-year-old passenger and Wildwood resident was admitted to Bayonet Point Hospital in Hudson in serious condition.

According to FHP, neither woman was wearing a safety belt.

This was the third fatality in Lake and Sumter Counties reported in a week.

One week earlier, a 23-year-old Apopka man was killed instantly after a pickup truck slammed into a tree and ejected him from the back of the truck.

Another man, a 45-year-old Sumterville resident, was killed Wednesday after being thrown from his motorcycle. FHP claims he struck the back of a slower moving vehicle in Sumter County.

A tire blowout occurs when some factor causes a tire to suddenly deflate while driving. Unfortunately when this happens, it is easy to lose control of the vehicle, especially while driving at highway speeds. According to Michelin, more than 23,000 car accidents and nearly 550 deaths occur each year across the United States due to tire blowouts. When tire blowouts occur at high speeds, accidents often result in severe injuries or death.

Tires that are properly installed, aligned and maintained can generally drive an average of 60,000 to 80,000 miles before showing signs of deterioration. When a tire failure does happen, it can be attributed to a number of factors, such as manufacturer, mechanic and/or driver negligence. A tire blowout may occur due to the following factors:

  • Improper Tire Installation
  • Defects in Manufacturing
  • Poor Tire Maintenance
  • Normal Wear and Tear
  • Under-Inflated Tires
  • Excessive Vehicle Weight
  • Speeding
  • Hitting a Curb
  • Running Over Road Debris

Should a tire blowout occur, it is recommended that drivers do not slam on their brakes. Rather, they should slightly accelerate and hold the steering wheel straight to stabilize the vehicle. Once control of the vehicle is maintained, drivers should slowly decelerate and pull the vehicle off the road.

The Villages Auto Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can thoroughly investigate tire blowout cases to pinpoint the exact cause of tire failure. We are committed to helping you and your family recover proper compensation for damages after an unfortunate auto accident takes place. We fight aggressively to make sure all responsible parties are held accountable for their actions.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a tire blowout accident, or if your loved one has died due to tire failure in Marion, Lake or Sumter County, contact The Villages Auto Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton online or call 352-369-5334.