Colorado man killed by runaway truck tire

| 8/27/2001

Lug nuts that may not have been properly tightened are under suspicion in a deadly accident last week that claimed the life of a Colorado man struck by a truck tire while standing alongside an interstate connector ramp.

The wheel was one of two that had loosened and came off a Graebel Van Lines moving truck headed south on I-270, according to the Denver Post. The driver didn't realize the wheels had come off until another truckdriver flagged him down on I-70. The second wheel apparently caused no damage.

The victim had been in a minor-three car accident on the ramp connecting southbound Interstate 270 with eastbound I-70 in Denver. He and the other motorists had pulled off to the side.

The police officer talking with the man described seeing a black blur just before the tire struck and killed the man. Two other motorists who were involved in the accident with the victim had finished speaking with police and had left the area before the victim was hit by the tire.

Arvada Diesel Service in Henderson inspected the rig Aug. 14, the Post reported. The truck was being driven to an Aurora service center when the accident occurred.

Allen Powers, Graebel senior vice president for safety, told the newspaper he believes the lug nuts were not properly tightened after inspection. "I don't think there is anything we could have done to prevent it," he said.

A Denver police spokeswoman said that the tires apparently were not put back on properly. Another accident occurred as the Graebel truck slowed on I-70. A truck that was following the Graebel vehicle was rear-ended as it slowed down.