DEATH BY BLOWN TIRE. Tires have gotten so good that people neglect to inspect them and check pressure (yeah, Obama was right about that part, though he overstates the energy savings).
UPDATE: Reader John Chalupa points out that the blown tire was a retread. I don’t agree, though, that this makes checking pressure and inspecting the tread pointless — I believe underinflation creates overheating and makes tread-separation more likely. I have to say, though, that despite my driving on retreads when I was in college (they were really cheap!) I wouldn’t recommend it. When I consider that my life sometimes depended on two-ply, polyester, Israeli-made bias recaps, well, I kinda shudder now . . . .