Tulsa Police Blame Road Debris For Flat Tires On The Broken Arrow Expressway

Wednesday, September 20th 2006, 6:06 am
By: News On 6

Tulsa Police are looking into a case where three vehicles had blowouts in just a matter of minutes. Drivers were sure someone had been shooting at their tires.

It happened around 9 PM Tuesday. Two drivers were traveling the Broken Arrow Expressway near Lewis; the third was on Lewis itself.

News on 6 anchor Scott Thompson says Tulsa Police were not sure Tuesday night, but they said signs pointed to a shooting. They now say that's not the case.

Three drivers on two different roads all pulled into a parking lot with holes in their tires. All three called 911, saying they heard a gunshot and their tires went flat.

Tulsa Police say they found very round puncture holes in the treads, each with an exit point. Officers set up a perimeter and used the police helicopter's infrared camera to search for a shooter, but couldn't find a suspect, bullet fragments, or debris in the road that could pop a tire. Detectives took one tire back as evidence.

Officers now say they found a screw-head inside the tire, and are 99 percent sure all three blowouts can be blamed on screws, instead of a sniper. Tulsa Police officer Jason Willingham: "It sounds kind of outlandish when you first think about it. But if you figure that a truck's going along and he loses a box of screws, how many screws are going to be up there?"

Tulsa Police say a homicide detective is still investigating this case, because of the one- percent chance these blowouts were not an accident.