A driver is lucky to be alive after a wheel flew off a truck and hit his vehicle on a Toronto freeway Thursday morning, police say.
Ontario Provincial Police Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said the incident happened in the westbound lanes of Highway 401 at Highway 427.
Schmidt said a transport truck was en route when one of its wheels separated and flew into a moving vehicle.
Fortunately for the driver, the wheel hit the side of his vehicle and he escaped without injury.
In a video posted on Twitter, Schmidt spoke with the driver, who said he saw the wheel fly toward him just before the impact.
“It came off the bridge and what happened is I just saw it at the last second. And what I did was I went to the other lane over here and I made sure nobody was in the right lane , really, really fast and I just moved over just in time. And it plowed into the side of me instead of my windshield,” said the driver, who has been identified as Mark.
Schmidt said the tire separated from the truck due to lack of maintenance, resulting in a bearing failure.
In another Twitter video, Schmidt examined the truck that lost its wheel and noted that the outer bearing had “melted right off,” likely due to no lubrication.
“As part of your daily (truck) inspection, this is what you have to look at, and one of those things is hub oil, whether it’s below the minimum levels when equipped with a sight glass,” he said.
Schmidt reiterated how crucial it is for drivers to double-check their tires after completing any mechanical work.
“Check these wheel mounts if you’ve had them changed recently due to a brake job or due to a seasonal tire change. Check your wheel nuts and make sure they’re properly tightened and tightened down and that they’re not going to fail ,” he said.
“This could have been deadly and Mark is lucky it didn’t go straight into the cabin,” he added.
It is not known whether charges will be brought.