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Wheel flies off truck onto SUV on Hwy. 400, no injuries

Mitch Burke and New Staff | posted Thursday, Jun 20th, 2019

A wheel of an eighteen-wheel truck flew off on Highway 400 just south of Highway 9 on Wednesday.

OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt tells CityNews they responded to a call around 2 p.m.

The whole set of the truck’s dual wheel assembly, along with the brake drum, flew off as a single unit, bounced over a lane and hit an SUV on the passenger side, smashing in its roof. Ten of the wheel’s 12 studs were still completely fastened in place.

Neither of the drivers were injured.

Schmidt says OPP traffic collision investigators are trying to understand why the wheel separated and how the wheel studs got pulled out from the hub directly and were able to pull through the metal.

The wheels on the truck were installed when it had its annual safety check at the end of May and investigators are checking to see if the correct studs were used and installed properly.

Charges have not been laid at this time, but an investigation is ongoing and when necessary, charges can be laid for wheel separation.

“The provision is there for charges to be laid. It is an absolute liability offence if a wheel becomes separated from a commercial vehicle … and the fines can go up to $50,000,” says Schmidt.

This is the third wheel separation accident over the past month and this latest incident comes a week after a similar one on Highway 400, near Highway 89.

In that instance, a tire came off a vehicle and crashed through the windshield of another, leaving a Barrie woman with multiple fractures.

Charges are expected to be laid in that incident. Schmidt says it will likely be a detached parts offence since it is not a commercial vehicle, but the driver is still liable for the maintenance and safety of the vehicle.

In May two people were injured, one of them seriously, after a wheel from an SUV struck a vehicle in the northbound lanes of Highway 400 at Highway 89.

Schmidt says there are typically 130 to 140 wheel separation incidents a year and there have been 60 so far in 2019.


He also sent a reminder to all drivers to be proactive in maintaining their vehicles and get their wheel fasteners torqued regularly.

RELATED: Ontario roads and highways have a long history of flying tire incidents

One week ago, a set of wheels came flying off an SUV in the same area, seriously injuring a driver after her car was hit.

Then back in May, two people were injured after an SUV traveling southbound lost a tire. The wheel bounced into the northbound lanes.


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