Police are probing an incident on the 401 near Keele Friday morning that resulted in an accident involving as many as 5 vehicles but no major injuries or long term traffic disruptions.
And those involved are lucky that’s all that happened.
It was around 10:30am when a tractor trailer suddenly lost a wheel at it was heading at full speed down the busy highway. The tire flew from the collector lanes into the express but somehow didn’t hit anything or even bounce, possibly avoiding a catastrophic outcome.
But while the big wheel failed to hit anything it still had an impact – it lead to a minor five car collision caused when drivers tried to steer out of the way of the unexpected object and wound up hitting each other.
The truck has since been towed to a compound where OPP inspectors will be examining the reasons for the mishap. Cst. Dave Woodford tells CityNews.ca it’s likely the driver wasn’t even aware one of his 18-wheels snapped off, but he pulled over once he realized something was wrong.
These kinds of incidents have had tragic consequences before, the most famous of which involved a woman named Angela Worona, who was killed by a flying tire that came off a truck on the 401 in 1995. Many others have had encounters since that resulted in deaths, injuries, damage to their vehicles or unnerving close calls.
There was a time when we heard about this a lot, but Woodford notes stepped up inspections at weigh scales and those now regular truck blitzes have made it an unusual occurrence more than an everyday fear for drivers.
It’s still unclear what caused Friday’s incident but the veteran cop notes if it’s discovered it was a result of a lack of maintenance or negligence, charges could be laid.