Wheel Flies Off Mississauga Dump Truck, Woman Critically Injured

Update:

Victim was struck while walking on Meadowvale Boulevard in Mississauga, north of Highway 401

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A woman is fighting for her life after being struck by one of two wheels that flew off a dump truck in Mississauga this morning.

The woman, said to be in her 40s, was walking on the sidewalk of Meadowvale Boulevard, just north of Highway 401, around 8 a.m. when she was struck by the wheel — which likely weighed nearly 200 pounds — according to police.

Diane Tsialtas, of Brampton, was identified by friends as the victim of the accident. Tsialtas, an avid runner, is well-known among that community.

She was airlifted to Sunnybrook Hospital with life-threatening injuries and remains in critical condition.

Flying truck tires are also punishable by fines of up to $50,000. The law puts “absolute liability” on the truck operator, meaning charged drivers cannot use a due diligence defence. The only defence would be to prove the wheel did not separate from the truck. In 1996, a year before the law was introduced, the GTA had more fatalities involving trucks than the national average due to higher traffic volume. That year, there were 32 incidents involving truck tires, injuring 19 people and killing two. Two others were killed in 1995, and in 2006, an Oakville mother of two died in a collision caused by a runaway truck tire.
Flying truck tires are also punishable by fines of up to $50,000. The law puts “absolute liability” on the truck operator, meaning charged drivers cannot use a due diligence defence. The only defence would be to prove the wheel did not separate from the truck.
In 1996, a year before the law was introduced, the GTA had more fatalities involving trucks than the national average due to higher traffic volume. That year, there were 32 incidents involving truck tires, injuring 19 people and killing two. Two others were killed in 1995, and in 2006, an Oakville mother of two died in a collision caused by a runaway truck tire.

Peel Regional Police still haven’t determined how the tires came loose from the 14-wheel truck.

John Furlano, a truck technician who does safety checks on commercial vehicles including dump trucks, said he believes the nuts that hold the tire in place were loose after looking at pictures of the truck involved.

“That would cause the rim itself to rock back and forth,” Furlano said, adding that’s something the driver should have detected during his daily check over the vehicle.

“He should have heard something coming from that wheel and maybe stopped and circled the truck.”

Police are questioning the driver but haven’t laid any charges at this time.

“It looks like due to the negligent condition of the dump truck the tire flew off and struck a pedestrian who was walking on the sidewalk,” said Const. Rachel Gibbs of Peel Regional Police.

After hitting the woman, one wheel bounced about 200 metres into the parking lot of an office building. It’s not clear how fast the truck was moving at the time the wheels came loose.

Flying Truck Wheel Fatalities in Ontario

Dec. 11, 2011: Jason Eligh, 24, is killed heading eastbound on Highway 401 just west of Brockville when a westbound truck loses a dual rear wheel set from its trailer. Eligh was a father of two sons from Mallorytown, Ont.

Nov. 14, 2003: A wheel assembly flies off a tractor-trailer on the 401 at Waverly Rd. near Bowmanville and smashes into the windshield of a Ford Focus, killing Sylvie Theoret, 40, instantly. Her 15-year-old son suffers minor injuries. A driver of a Pontiac Sunfire also suffers injuries when the flying tire bounces off Theoret’s car and then hits his car. Section 84.1 of the Highway Traffic Act that imposes fines of up to $50,000 on trucking companies when a wheel separates from a vehicle does not apply when the entire axle, hub, wheel and tire assembly comes off.

July 28, 2001: John Drysdale, 51, is killed instantly on Highway 401 in Durham Region when the wheel of a truck detaches, bounces of a centre guardrail and smashes through the windshield of his 1996 van. The truck company is charged with operating an unsafe vehicle and having a wheel fall off. The truck is impounded and its plates removed after the rig is deemed unsafe. The truck’s driver is charged with failing to maintain a proper log book and failing to conduct a proper pre-trip inspection. No criminal charges are laid against the truck driver.

July 1997: Shane Perry, 22, dies after his pickup truck hits a trailer wheel lying in his path on Highway 400 north of Rutherford Rd.

Dec. 28, 1996: Mary Louise Jessiman, 40, and her mother, Robina Campbell, 58, of Mississauga, are killed on Highway 401 near Oshawa by a set of wheels that fly off a truck. The trucker, Louis Lauzon, is later fined $5,500 after being found guilty of driving an overweight commercial vehicle and failing to ensure a commercial vehicle conformed to standards.

April 3, 1995: James Tyrrell, 31, of Mississauga, dies when a wheel falls off a transport truck. The wheel bounces over a guardrail and smashes into his Toyota as he heads in the opposite direction along the QEW near Highway 10 in Mississauga. An inquest is held in October 1995 in response to the deaths of both Worona and Tyrrell. The 17-day inquest concludes that in both accidents the wheels that flew off and killed the victims had been poorly maintained and improperly installed. The inquest led Ontario to introduce North America’s toughest laws for the trucking industry. They include increased fines and putting unsafe transport trucks in compounds known as truck jails for a minimum of 15 days. Laws enacted in 1997 set fines of between $2,000 to $50,000 for truck-related offences.

Jan 31, 1995: Angela Worona, 31, of Whitby dies when a truck wheel bounces over the guardrail and smashes into her Pontiac Grand Am as she was driving in the opposite direction along Highway 401 in Whitby.

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