Sophie Rollet, a former childcare worker from France, dedicated a decade of her life to uncovering the truth behind her husband’s tragic death in a collision linked to Goodyear’s tires. Her tireless investigation finally paid off when authorities conducted raids on Goodyear sites in Europe, including its Brussels headquarters, as part of a probe into involuntary manslaughter.

In her small stone house in Geney, a village in eastern France, Rollet spent every day meticulously tracking clues, data, and articles related to road accidents involving a specific model of Goodyear tires. Despite facing numerous challenges and working mostly alone, she persevered in her quest for justice.

After initially facing roadblocks in her husband’s case, Rollet filed a complaint for involuntary manslaughter in 2016 and presented her personal findings to prosecutors in Besancon. An expert’s analysis of the tire revealed a manufacturing defect as the cause of the fatal blowout, validating Rollet’s findings and propelling the case forward.

Besancon prosecutor Etienne Manteaux likened Rollet to Erin Brockovich, recognizing her determination and perseverance in pursuing justice against a major corporation. He commended her courage and tenacity, highlighting the pivotal role she played in advancing the investigations.

Following media coverage and a documentary on Rollet’s legal battle, another whistleblower came forward with internal documents suggesting that Goodyear was aware of defects in certain tire models and attempted to conceal them. This led to further scrutiny of Goodyear’s practices, with authorities conducting searches at various locations.

Despite feeling a sense of achievement and relief at the progress made in the case, Rollet also expressed frustration at the limitations of justice. She acknowledged that not all victims may be identified or receive closure, highlighting the challenges that persist even after a legal victory.

As Rollet transitions to a new career as an accountant, she continues to advocate for road safety by sharing her story with schools and businesses. While she has decided to put some distance between herself and the case, she remains committed to raising awareness and doing her part to prevent similar tragedies in the future.


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