A Mississippi transportation official says the absence of a $3 part may have let tires roll off of a tractor trailer, killing a Tulane University student from Minnesota.
Office of Enforcement director Willie Huff tells The New Orleans Advocate that a locking washer designed to secure truck wheels was missing from the trailer.
Two wheels joined together rolled into a rest stop, killing Margaret Maurer of Forest Lake, Minnesota. Huff says the conclusion blaming the missing metal ring is still preliminary. Dana Transport Inc. of Avenel, New Jersey, owns the truck.
Vice president Gene Patten says he can't comment. He did say, "There's always more to the story." Patten referred The Associated Press to an attorney who didn't immediately return a call for comment.