Jury selection was expected to begin Monday for a lawsuit that accused Bridgestone-Firestone and Ford Motor Company of causing the wreck that killed civil rights leader Earl Shinhoster.

Shinhoster, a former NAACP acting executive director in Atlanta, and Samimah Aziz were passengers in a Ford Explorer that crashed June 11, 2000, on Interstate 85 near Tuskegee. Aziz was seriously injured.

The Ford Explorer was part of a security motorcade – traveling 80 miles per hour in a 70 mile-per-hour zone – that was carrying Shinhoster to Montgomery. The lawsuit claims the accident occurred when the tire on the Ford Explorer blew out and “disintegrated” and that Bridgestone-Firestone knew the tire was defective.

The lawsuit also claims that Ford was at fault because of defects that the plaintiffs say caused the vehicle to roll over after the accident.



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