Loose Tire Flies Across I-44, Crushes Teen Driver's Windshield

Thursday, July 2nd 2015, 1:14 pm
By: Emory Bryan

A Claremore man received minor injuries after a head-on collision with a loose tire that went right into his windshield.

The accident happened just before noon at Interstate 44 and Harvard; police said it easily could have been a fatal accident.

The tire came over the wall from the eastbound lanes and hit Arron West’s car, which was going the other direction.

Aaron’s mom, Cheryl West, couldn't stop holding on to her son on the side of I-44. She also couldn't stop sweeping the glass off his shirt and checking him over.

He's got some cuts, but he's otherwise OK - the car is another story with the windshield, and top and sunroof smashed.

Aaron was driving westbound when a loose tire, from somewhere, flew over the median wall.

"It bounced and cleared this wall pretty good. It hit me going pretty fast," he said.

Aaron didn't see where it came from - or where it went.

He couldn't see through the windshield and couldn't move around the crumpled top of the car, but he managed to pull over and stop.

A police officer was right behind him and saw the whole thing.

"It came over this wall and hit his vehicle, now it's back over there," Officer Ronnie Benight said.

Benight said the tire flew up in the air, and in heavy traffic, bounced past several cars trying to miss it and ended up in the median.

It's a new tire, but no one stopped to claim it.

Help arrived quickly, and so did Aaron's mom. She didn't know anything was wrong before she happened to drive by the accident and saw her son, with blood all over him.

"I didn't see his car so much as I saw him sitting and I saw blood. It scared me, so I pulled off the road and ran back here," she said.

Both of them seemed a little stunned by the random accident, and the good fortune that such a hard impact didn't leave him hurt more than he was.

"It's scary to see your kid on the side of the highway," Cheryl West said.

Aaron's not entirely lucky, the reason the officer was right behind him was because he had just given him a ticket a few minutes before.