A tire became detached from its vehicle and flew across the Pat Bay Highway Wednesday, striking a car travelling in the other direction.
The rolling projectile, which came off a northbound travelling Nissan Pathfinder, ripped the front licence plate from a southbound Chrysler PT Cruiser just after noon on Jan. 24.
The incident occurred in the 50 km/h portion of the highway, near the Saanich police and fire departments on Vernon Avenue. The driver of the PT Cruiser was unable to pull her vehicle over, but she made her way to the police station.
Saanich police Sgt. Steve Eassie said the man driving the Pathfinder was able to pull his vehicle – now travelling on three tires – safely over to the side of the road.
Eassie has dealt with a similar situation in his civilian life, and gives huge kudos to the Pathfinder driver for not panicking, and for successfully maneuvering his vehicle to safety.
"My wife and I were travelling on the Coquihalla at 110 km/h and had a blowout of our front passenger tire. Probably the only thing that kept me on the road was my police training," Eassie said. "It is a struggle to slow a vehicle down without a tire. I credit anyone involved in an incident like this who can keep their vehicle on the roadway."
Eassie says the driver of the Pathfinder told police he had just retrieved his SUV from having its brakes checked, and the tire likely wasn't properly secured after inspection at the automotive shop.
Nobody was injured as a result of the incident.
Eassie says this situation is a good reminder to drivers about the importance of keeping two hands on the steering wheel at all times.
"You just never know when something could happen," he said.