Loose tire flies into car's windshield on I-280 in West Orange

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Toni Yates reports a loose tire struck the windshield of a car in West Orange Tuesday morning.

A loose tire struck the windshield of a car on Interstate 280 in West Orange Tuesday morning, but amazingly, the driver escaped serious injury.

Authorities say a black Nissan Frontier pick-up was traveling east when one of its tires fell off near milemarker 6.5. It traveled into the westbound lanes, where it first hit the windshield of a silver Ford Taurus before bouncing into a work van.

The driver of the Taurus and an occupant of the work van were taken to St. Barnabas Hospital, where they were treated for minor injuries and released.

A mechanic at a local tow yard was asked how it looked to him.

"It looks like the lug nuts fell off," said Brian Hocke, owner of Black Diamond Garage. "It was driving on one lug nut with a shiny spot on the wheel, so he just lost his lug nuts...It could be not tightened properly, not installed properly, or if the car is rusty, not perfect or new, they do work loose. But that's part of maintenance."

He said it was a brand new tire that may have been attached recently.

"Both front tires have been replaced, so it has two new front tires on it. Newer front tires on it. The old ones on the back and the new ones on the front," said Hocke.

State police were investigating what caused the tire to come loose, but so far, no citations have been issued.
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