The Ontario Provincial Police say a woman is “lucky to be alive” after her vehicle was hit by a flying tire from another passenger vehicle along Highway 401 in Toronto on Tuesday.
“(The tire) looked sky high and it just looked like it was coming down straight for my windshield. And I just had nowhere to go and no time to react. It was just there,” said Lisa, the driver of the vehicle.
OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt posted a video of the aftermath of the collision showing a badly damaged white Ford Explorer with the windshield completely caved in just slightly towards the passenger side of the vehicle.
“This is a matter of inches and this should not have happened in the first place,” Schmidt said, adding that Lisa escaped with just minor injuries.
The collision happened on the westbound express lanes of Highway 401 just past Renforth Drive.
In the video, Schmidt turns to Lisa for her to give her account of what happened.
“I was just driving down the 401 and in a split second I saw a tire … I saw it bounce extremely high and it was coming down right at my windshield,” Lisa said. “As quickly as I could, took a look to see if there was anywhere that I could go to escape this tire and not cause injury or accident to anyone else.”
“I looked back and thought this is it. I am going to die and this is the end,” Lisa said fighting back tears.
Schmidt said the vehicle was travelling the opposite direction, going eastbound along the highway. Officers are speaking to the driver of the vehicle whose wheel came off.
An investigation is underway to determine exactly how the wheel came off but Schmidt said it could possibly be due to a winter-to-summer tire swap.
“One of the issues we’re going to be finding out is whether or not that wheel was recently installed,” Schmidt said.
“We see a spike in wheel separations in these seasons,” Schmidt said. “The fall season and the summer season as drivers are switching from their summer tires to their winter tires and winter tires back to their summer’s.”
“Lisa is lucky to be alive today,” Schmidt said.