WASHINGTON—The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating two fatal February 2014 crashes, one in Louisiana and one in Florida, that apparently were caused by tire failures, the NTSB said.
Both tires in question were manufactured by Michelin North America Inc. The crash in Florida involved a BF Goodrich Commercial T/A AS tire that was part of a July 2012 recall of approximately 794,000 tires for possible tread belt separation leading to tread and air loss, the NTSB said.
The Florida crash occurred Feb. 21 on Interstate 75 in Lake City, Fla., according to the agency. The driver of a Ford E360 XLT 15-passenger van lost control after the tread separated from the left rear tire, which was one of the recalled BF Goodrich tires.
The van, which contained three adults and seven children, rolled over. Two of the adults and two of the children were ejected from the vehicle, the NTSB said. The two adults that were ejected died, and the other passengers were injured.
The Louisiana accident occurred Feb. 15 on U.S. Highway 90 near Centerville, La. A 2004 Kia Sorento was traveling west when the left rear tire, a 10-year-old Michelin Cross Terrain, lost its tread.
The Kia spun out of control, crossed the median and collided with an eastbound school bus carrying 34 members of the Lafayette High School baseball team, the NTSB said. The driver of the Kia and three of his passengers were ejected from the vehicle and killed; the fourth passenger, who wore his shoulder belt, was seriously injured. The driver of the school bus and 30 of the 34 passengers received injuries ranging from minor to serious, the agency said.
A Michelin spokesman said the company is cooperating with the investigations and will continue to do so.