A woman is in serious condition after she was hit by a flying tire while jogging along the Rickenbacker Causeway early Monday morning.
Just after 7:30 a.m., a tractor-trailer heading west on the causeway lost two of its right rear tires. One tire rolled into a Hobie Beach parking lot and the second tire bounced across several traffic lanes.
The tire eventually hit a couple jogging on a sidewalk on the eastbound side of the causeway.
Capt. Ignatius Carroll, a spokesman for Miami Fire Rescue, said that because the tire rim came off the truck, as well, the two were struck by more than 200 pounds of weight.
The couple were separately identified as Stephanie Hilzinger and her fiancé, Fernando Muñoz.
“It’s really amazing that no other vehicles or other people were struck by this tire,” he said.
Hilzinger, who took the brunt of the tire’s impact, was unconscious until Muñoz, a doctor, began CPR. She was taken to Ryder Trauma Center in serious condition. Muñoz was also taken to the hospital for scrapes and bruises.
Carroll said the fire department has never dealt with a situation like this before.
“You would never think that a tire would come off and strike you from behind,” he said. “It’s a freak accident.”
The tractor-trailer was eventually flagged down by another driver farther down the highway.
The driver of the truck, identified by Miami Herald news partner CBS4 as Angelio Salazar, said he had no idea he had lost two tires from his rig.
“I feel terrible,” he said.