Steel Coils Cause Flat Tires

Thursday, October 11th 2007, 6:28 am
By: News On 6

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation is trying to find out who's responsible for a load of steel coils that flew off of a truck and onto the Broken Arrow Expressway Thursday morning. Rush hour traffic came to a halt near Lewis Avenue. The News On 6’s Carina Sonn reports the debris caused flat tires for other vehicles, which created a backup on the Broken Arrow Expressway.

Drivers heading westbound on the BA received a wakeup call they never saw coming.

"All of a sudden there were huge coils in the road, but they're too huge to actually move, so I ran them over and now I have two flats,” said driver Angela McCrone.

She was just one of a half dozen drivers whose cars were damaged after four steel coils fell off a trailer and onto the roadway.

"It looks like it just came around the corner too fast, broke chain and rolled right off,” said ODOT risk manager Martin Stewart.

Tulsa Police officers and ODOT workers had their hands full. They were in a race against the clock to move the debris before the morning rush. The coils were 4 feet in diameter and weighed 1,500 pounds. Furthermore, they didn’t exactly land in a convenient location for crews trying to clean up the mess.

"Probably the worst place in the world because there's no shoulder. There's just a bridge and we're having to divert traffic until we can get these things out of the way,” said Tulsa Police Sgt. Gary Otterstrom.

Workers were able to finally drag the coils off to the side of the highway where a forklift and wrecker were used to remove them. But, that was too late for some drivers. Shannon Williams was on his way into work when he ran over one of the coils.

"Probably somewhere around the neighborhood of $300 to $500 because I'm pretty sure there's some internal damage with the bearings, calipers and all that stuff,” said driver Shannon Williams.

He says it felt like a huge pothole so he kept going, but by the time he arrived downtown, he knew something was seriously wrong.

Shannon Williams says he only has liability insurance on his car, but his insurance agent told him to file a claim with the trucking company that dropped the coils. He thinks that may be easier said than done.

“At least whatever the extent of the damage is, they could maybe pay for it. Because I don't feel that I should have to pay for it,” said Williams.

The News On 6 contacted the company that manufactures the steel coil. They said they just make the product, and a trucking company is responsible for distributing it. The company’s representative would not name the trucking company.

Watch the video: Steel Coils Spill Onto The Highway