Goodyear Settles Crash Lawsuit

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) -- Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. and the families of three men involved in a 2000 accident in which one of them died have settled a lawsuit.

The Mississippi Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed the lawsuit. The court noted in its order that both sides sought the dismissal because a settlement had been reached.

The young men's families -- and a Copiah County jury -- blamed the accident on a faulty tire on the Chevrolet Camaro rather than excessive speed and the beer the men had been drinking.

The state Court of Appeals agreed last April and upheld a $2.1 million verdict against Goodyear and Big 10 Tire Co.

Travis Kirby, who was 20, was driving nearly 90 mph with two teenage friends on Mississippi Highway 27 between Crystal Springs and Hopewell when the vehicle "left the road, rolled, clipped a tree, continued to roll, hitting another tree, and then came to rest on its side," according to court records.

Kirby was killed. Authorities said his blood alcohol level was 0.25 percent, more than three times the legal limit for an adult driver. Riley Strickland, then 18, and Sidney Odom, who was 19, were both injured.

The lawsuit alleged there was a faulty back tire on the right side of the car.

Mike Allred of Jackson, an attorney for the families, said Friday that terms of the settlement were confidential.

"It was a good settlement but I don't want to comment on it beyond that," Allred told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

Attorneys for the companies did not immediately respond to messages left Friday.

According court records, Kirby bought the vehicle used from a car dealership in Jackson. The tires had been replaced by the previous owner and were bought at Big 10 in Hattiesburg.

The car dealership that sold the vehicle settled out of court.

Goodyear and Big 10 blamed the accident on the excessive speed, Kirby's intoxication and a puncture caused by hitting something in the road, court records said.

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