Runaway wheels are incredibly dangerous.
We’ve seen the damage runaway wheels can cause and they’re shockingly devastating. Unfortunately, an innocent motorist traveling on I-70 in Indiana learned this in the worst way possible as a wheel that broke off a pickup truck crashed into a Buick, killing the driver.
Indiana State Police say the driver of the Buick crossover was traveling westbound on I-70 near mile marker 77 when a Nissan truck that was hauling a trailer eastbound lost its rear driver’s side wheel. That wheel crossed into the westbound lanes, hitting the unnamed adult female’s vehicle head-on.
As you can see from the photo of the damage, the wheel crashed through the windshield like it was nothing. The roof is peeled back and that was done by the collision, showing the sheer ferocity of the hit. The speed a runaway wheel can travel is incredible.
Police say after the wheel hit the Buick, it veered off the interstate and into a ditch, causing it to tip onto its passenger side. Responding troopers called for medical help when they found the woman inside unresponsive, however paramedics were unable to save her and she was declared dead at the scene of the accident.
An investigation into the accident is ongoing, so we don’t know what caused the Nissan’s wheel to detach. One common cause is people not properly tightening the lug nuts after changing a flat or swapping brake pads, but we don’t know if that’s the case here. The image provided by Indiana State Police isn’t detailed enough for us to even begin seriously analyzing the hub for signs of what caused the failure.
We admonish anyone reading this to not put off maintenance on your vehicle, particularly if you plan on towing a trailer. That puts additional stress on a truck, which might have been a contributing factor to this horrific accident that cost a woman her life.
Images via Indiana State Police