Four soldiers from the 533 Brigade Support Battalion at Fort Totten, in Queens, were injured on April 14 when the Humvee in which they were traveled rolled over on the New Jersey Turnpike in South Brunswick, New Jersey. Authorities say they were traveling in a two-vehicle caravan traveling south on the turnpike when a tire came off the Humvee. Police located the tire about 40 feet from where the vehicle came to a stop. The second vehicle was not involved in the accident.
All four of the injured were in the vehicle that overturned. Three soldiers were taken to the hospital—one female and two male soldiers. A fourth G.I., a male soldier, appeared to be dazed, but did not require any medical treatment. Witnesses say that three of the four soldiers were trapped under the vehicle and personnel in the second vehicle had to jack up the overturned Humvee to pull them out.
Transportation officials say it’s more common than you think for a tire to come off a vehicle in transit. More often than not, the injuries sustained are to a third party. Mark Bailey, an engineer with MEA Forensic, says that wheel separation if very underreported in the United States. He estimates that there may be as many as 50,000 incidences per year in North America where a tire comes off a car while the vehicle is moving down the road. His research shows that the greatest tendency for wheel separation is approximately two to three weeks after tires have been changed, or brakes have been worked on. He says the common cause—mechanics or car owners don’t properly tighten the lug nuts.
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