15-year-old helping change tire on Indiana interstate hit by runaway semi-truck tire

Published: Aug. 17, 2023 at 1:42 PM EDT
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LAKE COUNTY, Ind. (WNDU) - A 15-year-old boy suffered potentially life-threatening injuries after Indiana State Police say he was hit by a tire that came off a semi while he was helping change a flat tire on another vehicle.

It happened Tuesday morning around 10:30 a.m. on I-80/94 in Lake County. Police say a passenger vehicle was parked on the right side of the interstate along the shoulder and the occupants were outside of the vehicle actively working on changing a flat tire on it.

At the same time and location, a semi being operated by PDQ Trucking LLC out of Mendota, Ill., had a wheel from the trailer disengage from the rear tandem due to mechanical issues. The tire was still attached to the rim when it struck the south barrier and continued to travel east along the barrier wall.

The wheel then struck a 15-year-old boy that was assisting with the tire change. He was taken to a nearby hospital but was later transferred to a hospital in Chicago to be treated for potentially life-threatening injuries. There is currently no word on his condition.

Four other people who were outside of the vehicle also suffered injuries, but police say none of them were life-threatening.

The driver of the semi was taken to a nearby hospital for toxicology tests, which police say is standard protocol in these types of incidents. Results are pending, but police do not believe drugs or alcohol played a role in the crash.

The crash remains under investigation. The truck was impounded for a post-crash inspection.

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