Woman Injured from Possibly Defective Truck Wheel in Whatcom County

A woman who was walking down a residential street in Bellingham was seriously injured when the rear wheel came off of a Whatcom County Public Works pickup truck and struck her as it passed her by.

Kathlene Ruth, 52 years old was brutally hit and immediately taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. This collision occurred on the 2200 block of Birch Bay-Lynden Road in Custer, WA.

“The pickup was an after-hours response vehicle with dual rear wheels on each side. It was on the way to the driver's home from the Public Works building around 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 4, when the driver's-side outside rear wheel apparently came off,” said a statement issued by Frank Abart, spokesperson from Whatcom County Public Works.

Abart does not know how the tire came off the moving vehicle and it is under investigation.

WSP Issues Statement About Incident

Washington State Patrol (WSP) Trooper Mark Francis was one of the first WSP officials to arrive on the scene of the incident.

“The driver had been driving the truck around all day without any problems before the wheel came off,” said Francis.

After the tire disembarked from the truck, it flew towards Ruth and struck her then kept rolling, the truck driver was aware of this and stopped the vehicle immediately. The following day, Ruth underwent surgery for her serious injuries. The impact of the tire hitting her caused her to suffered multiple fractures to her pelvis, femur and tibia.

The results of officials' investigation into the incident will determine what, if any, legal options  the woman would have available to her moving forward. If it is proved that the wheel was in fact defective, or that maintenance on the truck had not been up to par, then there is a chance the woman could pursue a personal injury claim against the agency responsible for maintaining the truck.

Chris Davis
Top-rated, award-winning, attorney practicing wrongful death & serious injury law in Seattle.
2 Comments
K. Ruth, I am so very sorry about what happened and how you continue to suffer even months after the accident. No one should have to go through that kind of horrible experience or endure these kinds of life-changing injuries. I assume that you found our website because you are searching for information about your legal options. If you need any assistance finding information as you research your options please feel free to ask for my help. We frequently handle these kinds of cases and may be able to help you find the answers that you are looking for. Most Sincerely, Mischelle Mischelle Davis Director of Client Relations and Operations Davis Law Group, P.S.
by Mischelle May 23, 2014 at 04:53 PM
This person is me... almost 4 months later, I still am not able to walk yet, my whole world turned upside down in less then a second... It happened in the county area (Ferndale/Custer, WA)... to my recollection, the driver did not stop right away, but about 1/4 mile up the road according to what the EMT, ambulance and patrol people were talking about...I heard it all... I never did pass out thanks to a man named Jon who kept me alert... I suffered an open book fracture of the pelvic, the worst kinda pelvic break one can have... a tibial plateau fracture... both fractured areas have plenty of hardware holding me together... a fracture at my L5, my stomach muscles had pulled away from there attached site... a small laceration on my spleen, the skin from below the back of my right leg to just about below the buttock area, shredded (not pretty)... a graft from the left leg was taken to fix the right leg... my whole body posture crimpt and bent... I have shoulder and neck issues, can't sleep solid at night and pain... the accident affects every little thing of daily living... a once very active person, now in limbo over the amount of movement that can be done, and the pain that comes with it all... It's gonna be a long arduous road ahead.
by K.Ruth May 23, 2014 at 03:14 PM
Post a Comment