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article imageOntario driver killed by flying truck wheel

By Arthur Weinreb     Jan 28, 2016 in Technology
Vaughan - Despite a clampdown by the provincial government that began almost 20 years ago, incidents of wheels coming off trucks on busy highways are still occurring.
A transport truck carrying a load of lumber was travelling southbound on Highway 400, just north of Toronto. Around 9:30 a.m. yesterday, two wheels came flying off the truck. One of the wheels, estimated to weigh about 100 pounds, rolled across the highway and struck an SUV travelling in one of the northbound lanes. According to police, the tire struck the windshield and roof of the northbound vehicle completely destroying them. The driver of the SUV lost control and came to a stop in a ditch.
The Toronto Star reports the truck continued down the highway for about two kilometres before stopping. It is suspected the driver did not immediately know he had lost the two wheels. The driver has been cooperating with police.
The driver of the SUV was airlifted to a Toronto trauma centre after being extricated from his vehicle. He died later that night.
At the scene, Ontario Provincial Police Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said, "It's an incredible amount of damage that's been sustained. Obviously there was no time for the driver to react. You're not expecting to see a flying tire coming at you."
The name of the deceased has not been released although the OPP say he was a 69-year-old man from Burlington, Ontario.
An employee of Transport Leo Labelle that owns the truck told CBC News the truck has been towed for for examination. The employee also said the company's trucks are inspected on a weekly basis and this truck was last examined on Jan. 22.
In November 2015, after a woman was killed under similar circumstances, the London Free Press reported that almost 20 years ago, after several deaths were caused by tires, the provincial government cracked down. Wheels coming off trucks became a strict liability offence meaning no defence can be raised. The maximum fine under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act became $50,000.
As well, Ontario increased the number of inspections done by police and Ministry of Transport officials. Despite these measures, between 2010 and November 2015, there were 577 instances of tires coming off trucks on Ontario highways.
The police and the province are continuing their investigation.
More about flying truck wheel, truck safety, ontario highway traffic act, Ontario provincial police, strict liability offence
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