UPDATE: Bouncing Wheel Accident Could Have Been Prevented

By: WSAZ News Staff Email
By: WSAZ News Staff Email

UPDATE 4/4/14 @ 5:00 p.m.
KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A wheel flew off a pick-up truck straight into oncoming traffic. Car experts say, this accident could have been prevented.

It happened along I-64 Friday morning during rush hour traffic. Police say a tire flew off a pick-up truck and smashed the windshield of an SUV traveling in the other direction. They say the lug-nuts weren't tightened on the tire. It's something car experts say could have been avoided.

Steve Basham, Co-Owner of Steve and Stacey's Service Center, says "it's imperative on cars and trucks nowadays that the lugs be tightened to a tightness slightly below their ultimate torque."

It's something you can easily do at home. Bill Gallagher says he always makes sure his car is in good shape before heading on the road. "I usually check around the car everyday to make sure nothing's happened. I have a torque wrench at the house where I check to make sure everything's good and tight."

Basham says play by the rule, not too loose or too tight when tightening the lug nuts. "You'll get a pretty good feel of how much pressure it took to get them off when you change them. Put approximately that amount of torque back on them." He says if you don't do this, it can cause major problems. A flying tire can be extremely dangerous. "Typically a tire off a pick-up truck with a steel wheel on it would probably weigh 50 pounds."

If your tire is loose, you will feel the car shake. Basham says in that situation, "the worst thing you can do in that, would be real abrupt steering that would get the car swinging. You just want to maintain your direction."

When it doubt, bring your car to a shop. Experts can help you figure out what's best for your tires.



UPDATE 4/4/14 @ 10:55 a.m.
KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- All lanes of I-64 have reopened after a wheel fell off a driver's vehicle Friday morning.

It happened just after 8 a.m. on I-64 near the Montrose Street entrance ramp.

South Charleston police say a man driving an SUV eastbound on I-64 crashed after being hit by a bouncing wheel.

Investigators say the wheel came off a pickup truck traveling west on I-64. It bounced across the westbound lanes and into the eastbound lanes, striking the SUV.

The man had to be cut out of the vehicle after the wheel hit his roof, according to WSAZ.com crews on the scene. He was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

No names have been released.



UPDATE 4/4/14 @ 8:25 a.m.
KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- We're learning more about a crash on I-64 that's causing traffic issues Friday morning.

South Charleston police say a woman driving an SUV eastbound on I-64 crashed after being hit by a bouncing tire. Investigators say the tire came off a pickup truck traveling west on I-64. The tire bounced across the westbound lanes and into the eastbound lanes, striking the SUV.

It collapsed the roof of the SUV. WSAZ.com's crew on scene says emergency crews had to cut the roof off the vehicle. The driver has been taken to the hospital with possible head injuries, according to South Charleston police.

Crews are working to clear the road, but at this time, both the slow and middle eastbound lanes remained closed near the Montrose street entrance.



ORIGINAL STORY 4/4/14 @ 8:11 a.m.
KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A car crash is causing traffic issues for drivers. It happened just before 8 a.m. Friday before the Montrose Street entrance ramp on the eastbound lanes Interstate 64.

WSAZ.com's crew on the scene says both the slow and middle lanes have been shut down. Only one lane remains open heading east.

Traffic is quickly backing up in the area. Drivers should avoid that part of I-64 if at all possible.

So far, there is no word on any injuries.

We'll continue to update this story as more information becomes available.


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