Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

Michelin probes Dana tyre blow-out

A late-night blowout on Dana's car was most likely caused by a simple puncture

Tyre manufacturer Michelin is to examine a tyre which blew on Dana's campaign car to assess it for sabotage, the presidential candidate has revealed.

Garda experts have inspected the wheel but found no explanation for the rubber to burst at high speed on the M4 motorway in Co Kildare last Tuesday night.

Dana, full name Dana Rosemary Scallon, said she had been informed over the weekend that detectives found nothing to suggest criminal damage on the Peugeot 508 car.

"Gardai called us the night before last to say they couldn't find a definitive reason for the blow-out," she said.

"They had to send the tyre to the makers and it's my hope there will be a perfectly easy way to explain the phenomenon of that tyre. That's my hope because we do not want it in politics and we do not want it in the family."

The tyre blew as Dana, her husband Damien, brother Gerald and another campaign worker travelled back to Dublin on the M4. The car was going about 100kph when Mr Scallon lost control.

Campaign team members including her husband believed that the tyre had been deliberately punctured or slashed earlier in the day as they canvassed in Carrick-on-Shannon. Mr Scallon asked whether someone had been trying to kill them.

Despite their suggestions of sabotage, the team had driven on the wheel for well over an hour after leaving the Leitrim town. Repair experts at Fastfit and Advance Pitstop claimed that the damage appeared to be consistent with a run-flat as the car may have travelled more than 100 yards after the blow-out. The side wall of the tyre had torn about 15 times.

It is understood manufacturers Michelin will be able to strip layers of rubber off the side wall of the tyre to assess whether it had been interfered with.

Mr Scallon had been in the overtaking lane near Kilcock when the tyre blew. He first swerved to avoid a lorry in front and a car behind before struggling to regain control and stop safely on the hard shoulder.

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