Wrongful death trial over Bronco blow out begins in local court

By David Yates | Apr 8, 2009

1994 Ford Bronco

After having his pre-owned 1994 Ford Bronco for only two months, one of the tires broke off Eric Carlsen's truck while he was driving on a highway and Carlsen was killed when the Bronco wrecked.

More than two years later, Carlsen's surviving wife and children are asking jurors to punish the companies they allege are responsible for causing his death. The trial of Donna Carlsen et al vs. Calvin Ford et al began Tuesday, April 7, in Judge Donald Floyd's 172nd District Court.

In early 2007, Donna filed the suit individually and on behalf of her two minor children in Jefferson County District Court, naming Kolander Corp. doing business as Calvin Ford, Jackie Baxter Tire Co. and Keating Motors as defendants.

Now, the suit's sole remaining defendant, Calvin Ford, must convince a jury that it was not responsible for the incident.

The rest of the suit's defendants settled prior to the trial, a court official told the Record.

Court documents show that on Dec. 28, 2006, Carlsen was traveling west on Texas Highway 73 when the left rear tire "suddenly and unexpectedly came off the Ford Bronco … causing him to lose control."

According to Automobilemag.com, the 1994 Bronco was recalled in May 2001 for faulty tires.

However, prior to Carlsen's purchase of the vehicle, court papers show that Calvin Ford accepted the Bronco as a trade in, and then hired Baxter Tire to install new tires.

Soon after, the Bronco was transferred to Keating, who then sold the vehicle to Carlsen on Oct. 30, 2006.

In the suit, the plaintiffs allege the defendants negligently installed the tires and failed to properly inspect the vehicle.

They are asking jurors to award them damages for Carlsen's past and future lost wages and mental anguish, plus loss of love damages.

Tim Ferguson and the Ferguson Firm are representing the plaintiffs.

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