An out-of-control tire that flew off a pickup truck subsequently smashed into a Pennsylvania police car on Monday, shattering the cruiser’s windshield just inches from where two police officers were sitting. Police Chief Adam Salyards called the incident a “freak accident” in a text message to Centre Daily Times.
The Spring Township Police Department shared footage of the wild incident on Facebook.
“Talk about expecting the unexpected! Today while monitoring traffic in the 1300 block of Zion Rd. Officers were caught by surprise when a pickup truck traveling west lost a wheel/tire that struck the patrol unit the officers were sitting in,” the department said in the Facebook post. “Luckily the tire struck the cruiser and then launched in the air off to the opposite side of the road instead of traveling into the opposite lane and striking a moving vehicle coming in the other direction.”
The department said neither the officers nor the truck driver was injured in the incident, but the police cruiser suffered “extensive damage.”
The bodycam footage from one of the officers who was sitting in the police cruiser at the time was also released, providing another angle of the crash.
“This is an inside view of the cruiser as the tire smashes into the windshield. Notice the glass shards that encapsulate the interior of the vehicle,” the department wrote in a Facebook post. “We are very grateful both officers were okay!”
It’s unclear how the tire came off the truck to begin with, though such incidents can be caused by a variety of issues, including loose or broken lug nuts, wheel hub separations, or broken axles.
Last week, a California man was killed after he lost control of his vehicle due to a tire blowout on Instate 5.
According to LA Weekly, a 64-year-old man was driving his truck when one of the tires suddenly blew out, causing him to lose control of the vehicle. The driver crashed the truck and was ejected upon impact.
The driver was reportedly not wearing a seatbelt when the incident occurred.
The man was pronounced dead at the scene due to his injuries, authorities said. California Highway Patrol said they believe neither alcohol nor drugs were factors in the deadly accident.
The CDC website states that car accidents “are one of the leading contributors to unintentional injury deaths in the United States.”
“Although an overall decline was seen from 1999 through 2019, motor vehicle traffic death rates have increased in recent years,” the CDC says.
In 2019, 37,595 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic deaths, making an “age-adjusted death rate of 11.1 per 100,000.”
“Rates for males were more than double the rates for females throughout the study period,” the CDC notes.