Soccer Star Killed After 147-MPH Tire Blowout in Brabus-Tuned Mercedes-Benz S-Class

Officials say the crash was caused by under-inflated tires which, when ignored, can spark major havoc on hardly driven cars.

byChris Teague|
Mercedes-Benz News photo

Spanish soccer star Jose Antonio Reyes died last Saturday when he lost control of his Mercedes-Benz outside Seville, Spain, causing it to pummel a barrier and also kill his passenger. Fox News reports the athlete was traveling at exceedingly high speeds when the performance car suffered a sudden loss of tire pressure and left the road, resulting in the crash.

First, let's focus on something aside from the tragic loss of Reyes' life and observe what caused the fatal crash. Officials estimate Reyes’ Brabus-tuned Mercedes-Benz S550 sedan was driving 147 miles per hour when the crash happened; that’s an insane amount of speed to be carrying on a public road, regardless of the country. The police report also states that the footballer hadn’t driven the German rocket in quite a while and that the tires were likely under-inflated. 

At some point, the vehicle suffered a blowout that caused it to hit a row of concrete blocks, roll off the road, and finally stop some 200 meters from the highway.

Beyond his reckless driving, Reyes’ failure to check the tires on the rarely driven car seems to be what ultimately caused the wreck that ended his life, and his passenger’s. Even under normal driving circumstances, an under-inflated tire can cause reduced traction—and that’s the best-case scenario. As the vehicle travels faster, tires with low air pressure generate more heat. In fact, tires that are intended for high-speed driving actually require more air than those in use for daily driving.

Though the car itself is irrelevant to the turn of events, it’s worth noting that the Brabus S550 Reyes was driving is a serious piece of machinery. We don’t know the specifics of his exact S-Class, but Brabus currently offers a “Rocket 900” upgrade over the standard car that offers 900 horsepower and 0-60 mph times in the low four-second range.