CREATED Aug. 9, 2012
THOUSAND PALMS--One man is dead seven others are injured after an early morning crash Thursday that caused a major backup on Interstate 10. The accident happened at just after 7a.m. Thursday morning on eastbound I-10 near Date Palm Drive.
Traffic was backed up for more than 5 miles as a result of the crash.
A tire blowout caused the driver to loose control of his SUV. The car flipped, ejecting 3 of the 8 people inside. One man died on the scene the others are being treated at local hospitals.
"This does highlight the importance that people do take care of their vehicles in this hotter weather especially their tires. Making sure they're checking their tires for proper inflation and wear and if they do have a blow out to maintain a straight path and slowly move to the right when possible," Officer Joe Zagorski said.
The deadly crash is a reminder to everyone on the road to be extra careful. Something motorist Larry Maira says he knows all too well.
"A few days ago a lug broke off of my tire right here and I just happened to notice it," Larry Maira, owner of Mirage Electric said. "When that happens this has the possibility to blow this right off the truck when you're doing 70 mph on the freeway it would have just flipped me right over. I just happened to be lucky enough to catch that."
It also punctuates the importance of making sure your tires are properly maintained. Jay Tucker at Assure Truck Service says the rate of tire failure more than doubles in the hot summer months.
"The heat will increase the tire failure but everybody has to watch their air pressure that's the big thing," Tucker said. "If you don't watch your air pressure an under inflated tire will just blow up every time."
To check your tires, first look on the inside the driver's side door to find the optimum amount of air your tires need. Then take a tire pressure gauge to find out the current PSI. If you're running low on air, be sure to fill up before hitting the road. If you do experience a tire blow out don't panic.
"When a tire blows out you've got to slow down, don't hit the brakes and try to ease over," Tucker said.
"If you get a blow out don't start jamming on the brake just get off the gas and drift to the side and get off the freeway," Maira said.
The CHP says only two of the passengers involved in Thursday's crash were properly restrained when the car rolled.