Ontario Provincial Police say tires flew off two vehicles travelling on highways in the Greater Toronto Area Tuesday, sending one person to hospital.
OPP said the first incident happened on Highway 407 near Leslie Street around 11 a.m.
“A delivery truck driving down the highway had its wheels installed about two weeks ago and for some reason, both sets of the dual wheels from the driver’s side came off, bounced off of one vehicle that was heading eastbound,” OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt told Global News.
“The tires then both bounced over the concrete wall into the westbound side, striking another vehicle.”
The driver of the vehicle that got struck lost control and had to be transported to hospital, Schmidt said. They did not suffer serious injuries.
Schmidt said UPS, which owns the delivery truck, has since been charged under the Highway Traffic Act with having detached parts. That charge carries a maximum fine of $50,000 for commercial vehicles.
The second incident happened around 1:30 p.m. on Highway 400 near Highway 407.
In that incident, police said an SUV travelling northbound on Highway 400 lost a tire which also bounced into oncoming lanes.
No vehicles were struck in that incident, but the 22-year-old driver from Bradford has been charged under the Highway Traffic Act with having detached parts, Schmidt said. That charge carries a maximum penalty of a $2,000 fine for passenger vehicles.
“This is the time of year when we usually see a spike in wheel separations because of the predominance of people putting on their winter tires and changing over from all-seasons,” Schmidt said.
“If they’re not installed properly … we run the risk of having a wheel separation.”
Schmidt said vehicle owners who get their tires changed should have them rechecked after a day or two after to ensure they are still tight.
“When you put on your winter tires, if you install them and they appear to be tight, they may be tight at that time, but after you’ve driven for a day or two and put some kilometres on your vehicle, there’s a chance that those components could settle together and you lose that clamping pressure.”
Schmidt said the OPP sees around 140 to 150 wheel separations in the GTA each year, some of which have potentially deadly consequences.
Tuesday’s incidents happened as the OPP announced traffic act charges against a 66-year-old Port Sydney man after a tire flew off of a vehicle travelling on Highway 400 in May and left 32-year-old Benjamin Schenk with critical injuries.