1 killed, 2 injured by runaway truck wheel on freeway

One person died, and two were injured after a wheel came off a truck and bounced over the center guardrail into oncoming traffic on National Freeway 1 in Kaohsiung City this morning, February 27.

At around 8:00 am, two wheels came off a semitrailer traveling northbound at the 364 kilometer mark. One wheel remained in the northbound lanes, while the other bounced over the center guardrail, and hit a car traveling in the fast lane southbound.

In the car were the 50-year-old driver, Mr Guo, who was traveling with his 47-year-old wife, named Zeng, and their two daughters, aged 17, and 16. The errant wheel smashed through the windscreen of Guo’s vehicle, tearing the roof off, and hitting Ms Zeng, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, and the 17-year-old daughter, who was sitting in the back seat.

Ms Zeng was severely injured, lost vital signs, and was declared dead at the hospital. The 17-year-old was hospitalized with a skull fracture, and is currently being treated in the intensive care unit. The younger daughter was also slightly injured.

After hitting Guo’s car, the runaway wheel, estimated to weigh around 70 kilograms, continued to bounce until it hit the front of another truck, losing its momentum, and finally coming to a stop in the fast lane.

wheel that caused fatal accident, and damaged vehicle

According to reports, the family affected was heading to Taitung County to enjoy the three-day 228 long weekend at the time of the accident.

The driver of the truck that lost its wheels, a 54-year-old man named Huang, is being investigated on suspicion of professional negligence causing death.

Huang’s truck, with a registered weight limit of 35 tons, was taken to a weighbridge, and found to be more than three tons overweight, according to Apple Daily.

Story compiled from reports in China Times, ET Today, and Apple Daily.

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