Ontario Provincial Police say a wheel that detached from a transport truck on Highway 401 in Scarborough caused a multi-vehicle collision and sent four people to hospital.
OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said that just before midnight on Tuesday, a transport truck was travelling eastbound along Highway 401 near McCowan Road when a set of wheels detached from the trailer.
Schmidt said those wheels bounced down the highway and at least one of them ended up in the westbound lanes, causing one vehicle to crash into the wheel.
The vehicle was then rear-ended and a multi-vehicle collision followed, Schmidt said. In total, six vehicles were involved.
Schmidt said the occupants of two vehicles were hurt.
He said two young women from one car were taken to a trauma centre with serious but non-life-threatening injuries. In another vehicle, two people there were taken to a local hospital with minor injuries.
Schmidt said the tractor trailer was located a short distance away and the driver has been charged.
He added that OPP investigate about 150 wheel separation incidents every year in the Greater Toronto Area.
“The issue is that these flying truck wheels can cause serious, if not fatal, injuries to other occupants, other road users that are travelling usually in the opposite direction and getting caught by surprise as a wheel comes bouncing towards them,” Schmidt said.
“And by the time they realize it, they probably have nowhere to go.”
The highway was briefly closed overnight but has now reopened.