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Lawsuits Filed over Deadly Dump Truck Crash

The driver of a dump truck is being sued over allegations that he was negligent in causing a deadly crash as he failed to properly control his truck after its faulty tires (manufactured by Goodyear) blew out, causing the vehicle to crash into a SUV.

Victoria Angelique Potter, an Astor resident, and her infant son (who was just 10 weeks old) had been killed in the accident that took place on 14th August when one of the front tires of a Volusia County truck driven by DeLand resident James S Searls on State Rd 40 near County Rd 3 was separated and blew out. Potter was 21 years old.

Investigators didn’t find any violation of FL law by Searls, according to authorities. He was westbound when the truck’s front tire on the left side blew and the dump truck, which weighs more than 26000 pound, careened into the other lane, crashing into the Ford Explorer SUV driven by Potter.

Dave Byron, a spokesperson representing Volusia County, was not willing to comment on pending litigation.

Scott Baughman, the spokesman for Goodyear, said the company doesn’t comment on a pending lawsuit. Baughman said the accident was tragic and their prayers and thoughts were with the crash victims and their family members.

Michael Lane has filed a lawsuit on 26th March, naming Volusia County and Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company as defendants. Lane is suing the parties as the personal executor of the estate for deceased Terry Peterson. He is the step father of Chad Peterson, Potter’s fiance. The plaintiff’s attorney didn’t return phone calls seeking comment.

Thomas W Potter, Victoria Potter’s father, had filed an individual lawsuit on 19th February against McGee Auto Service & Tire and Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. Thomas is a Lake County resident. McGee Tire & Rubber Company that sold the blown out tire responded to the lawsuit and denied the allegations against it.

In his complaint, Lane says the tire’s catastrophic failure caused the truck to veer to the left side sharply. The driver was negligently operating the truck and so he could not maintain the lane of travel, allowing the vehicle to veer into the oncoming traffic, the suit claims.

The lawsuits allege that Goodyear was negligent. The tire company is accused of defective design and manufacture. Additionally, the company failed to properly inspect the tire, the suits state.

Both the suits are seeking more than $15000 in damages for medical costs; hospital expenses; burial costs; and funeral costs.

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