Jury selection is expected to begin today for the trial of a lawsuit that accuses Bridgestone-Firestone and Ford Motor Co. 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 was filed by Shinhoster’s widow, Ruby Shinhoster, and by Aziz, a goddaughter of the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

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