Police: Double-fatal crash preventable, reminder to check tires

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ZIONSVILLE, Ind. – We have new information about a violent crash in Zionsville on Tuesday that killed two women.

The right rear tire flew off an SUV, causing it to flip near 96th and Zionsville Road. FOX59 is learning more about why the lug nuts on that tire were loose. Zionsville Police said this crash was preventable and should serve as a reminder for all of us to check our tires and make sure the lug nuts are on the right way.

“We feel it was a tragic accident,” said Capt. Doug Gauthier with Zionsville police.

Gauthier’s done police work for two decades, and Tuesday’s crash puzzled even him until he saw the tire.

You can see in pictures provided to FOX59 by police, the holes are dangerously worn.

“It was obvious that the wheel was not on the vehicle properly. The holes were not round. They were oval shaped holes, so that means the vehicle was driven on for some time with either loose lug nuts or missing lug nuts,” he said.

The crash killed Mika Baird, 30, and her co-worker, Lesly Martinez, 31.

Gauthier said police are investigating how the tire got put on wrong.

“It’s just a lot of questions of what happened,” said Jeremy Sizemore, Mika Baird’s brother.

Sizemore told FOX59 his family is puzzled, too. He said his sister got the tire changed during the winter months after a fender bender.

“My sister got in an accident by where she works, and she hit a fence. And the son of the person she hit came to change her tire. It was during one of the snowstorms,” he said.

Sizemore said they are not sure if that’s to blame, but Zionsville police continue to probe for answers in the freak accident with an unexpected cause.

“We’re looking at all angles of it, but at this time we don’t believe there’s any criminal intent,” said Gauthier.

Again, the message from police is to make sure your lug nuts are on tight. Grooves should be on the inside of the tire, not visible.

We did stop by a tire shop Wednesday, and technicians told us people frequently put tires on wrong. They said intense vibrations should be a clear sign your tire or tires are not installed properly.

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