The wife of a local man killed in a crash earlier this year is suing two tire companies she says are responsible for the blowout which caused a construction crane to lose control.
John Wells was operating the 1980 construction crane May 26, 2016, around 1 p.m. on I-75 southbound in Manatee County when the crane’s front tire thread came undone. The crane veered right, went off the road into an embankment, then crossed the entrance ramp before crashing into another embankment and overturning. Wells was crushed in the crash and died at the scene.
According to a complaint filed by his wife, the crane lacked a working seat belt.
Victoria Wells is Wells’ widow. In the Oct. 31 filing, she claims TBC Tire and Battery and Foy’s Transport Tire Service failed to ensure the safety of her husband.
The split tire was sold by TBC to Action Crane Tech, the crane’s owner. The morning of the crash, a Foy’s employee inspected the tires.
TBC is being sued for strict liability and negligence. Foy’s is also being sued for negligence.
Mrs. Wells is seeking damages that exceed $15,000 for herself and her 2-year-old daughter, Julie.
The suit claims that TBC is negligent for failing to properly test and inspect the tire, for failing to warn the company of possible tire defects, and for misrepresenting the tires use on vehicles like the crane.
A GoFundMe was set up by the president of Action Crane, Glenn Pinciotti.
In an article reporting on the crash, Pinciotti described Wells as a family man.
Foy’s is located at 3411 S. 50th Street, Tampa.
The crash took place near the CR-6 overpass, shutting down southbound I-75 in the surrounding area for the afternoon.