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1998 Ford Ranger XLT Splash equipped with Firestone Tires

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Larry L. W. from Sarasota, Florida

On July 8, 2000 at about 11:55 AM my 8 year old daughter, Ashley, and myself were returning home from vacation in West Virginia. We were traveling southbound on Highway 77, about 20 miles north of Columbia, South Carolina.

The 1998 Ford Ranger XLT Splash we were driving, all of a sudden just turned left toward the left gaurdrail at 72 miles per hour.

Just prior to this happening Ashley told me she was tired. What she would do to go to sleep was pull down the arm rest, place a bed pillow from behind the seat on the arm rest, lay down with her seat belt still on by pulling her feet up out of the floorboard and tucking them under her butt on the seat.

The truck was out of control. I managed to keep the vehicle off of the left gaurdrail missing it by less than a foot according to the SC State Trooper. Upon getting the truck back up on the road it went into a slide at about 80 degrees across the southbound lanes of traffic as if something locked up.

Somehow we missed all other cars travelling south as we crossed all lanes and hit the right gaurdrail. We then went airborne over the gaurdrail for a little over 50 linear feet where we hit a large pine tree head on. The impact with the tree was about 5 feet up the tree, right of center on the front bumper slid down the tree with the truck wrapped around it and settling into a bed of poison ivy.

Ashley and I were transported to the hospital in the same ambulance. During the travel time IV's were started on both of us. Ashley was complaining of neck right arm and hip pain. CATSCAN series were done on Ashley's head, neck, spine and pelvis areas with negative results except for a slight bruise on the top of her right lung from the seatbelt. X-rays of Ashley's right arm and my chest were also negative.

I was released on July 8th and Ashley was released on July 9th after a night of observation due to the severity of the accident.

The truck had Firestone Wilderness tires that came on the vehicle at time of purchase. This accident happened before the word came out on this product so I don't know what the code on the side of the tirewall was.

The truck was totaled. Ashley and I both only had cuts and bruises and a lasting tramatic memory.

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