Faulty tires may be to blame in crash

The Associated Press
Saturday November 04, 2000

VACAVILLE — A car crash that killed a 3-year-old boy and severely injured his mother has been blamed on recalled Firestone tires. 

California Highway Patrol officers said Thursday that Nicholas Terraszas’ father lost control of the family’s 1996 Ford Explorer when the right rear tire lost its tread. 

The sport utility vehicle rolled over two times and landed on its roof, said Chris Linehan, a CHP collision investigation officer. 

Terraszas died on Aug. 23, one day after the accident. Betsy Terraszas was in a coma for nearly three weeks. 

She is recovering at a rehabilitation center in Castro Valley and was only told about her son’s death about a month ago, said her husband, Steve Terraszas. 

The crash happened just three weeks after Nashville-based Bridgestone/Firestone recalled 6.5 million ATX, ATXII and Wilderness AT tires. About 120 people have died in crashes blamed on the tires and more than 500 have been injured. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a consumer advisory on an additional 1.4 million tires, and the company has offered free replacements to any customer who asks. 


The tires on the Terraszas’ car were made in Decatur, Ill., where many of the recalled tires originated.