Friday, June 19, 2009

Tire smashes into tractor trailer windshield on 401... From U Haul Trailer

A transport truck with a U-Haul tire embedded in its window sits at the side of Highway 401 at Yonge, Friday, June 19, 2009.

Guy Orphanos remembers wondering where the tire was going to go as he talks to CTV Toronto on Friday, June 19, 2009.

The tire is seen wedged against the steering wheel inside the cab of the truck on Friday, June 19, 2009.

Tire smashes into tractor trailer windshield on 401

Updated: Fri Jun. 19 2009 7:35:06 PM

A Montreal man is lucky to be alive after a tire smashed through the windshield of his tractor trailer on the westbound Highway 401, near Toronto's Yonge Street on Friday morning.

OPP Sgt. Dave Woodford said the tire struck the driver's side at about 10:30 a.m.

"It's embedded in the windshield," he said.

Guy Orphanos, the 47-year-old driver of the tractor trailer, was not seriously injured. But when he spoke to CTV Toronto, dried blood covered the lower portion of his face. He suffered multiple minor cuts from the flying glass.

"I was coming westbound and I saw the wheel . . . bouncing and it went in my window," Orphanos, who is from Montreal, said. "I was thinking, where is it going to go?"

He said it was fortunate the tire crashed into his big-rig -- which was travelling about 100 kilometres an hour -- rather than a small car with children.

Orphanos said his air-bag didn't release and the steering wheel saved him from the tire's impact.

"I was lucky," he said.

The wheel broke off a four-wheeled U-Haul trailer being towed by a car. The trailer, missing its front right wheel, was impounded by police.

The OPP said it is the first incident involving a U-Haul trailer in two years.

The damaged tractor trailer was also towed to an OPP station in Toronto.

With a report from CTV Toronto's Jim Junkin

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