Boy changing tire on I-80 struck by detached wheel

A boy was hospitalized for potentially life-threatening injuries after he was struck by a wheel on I-80 Tuesday morning. 

Indiana State Police responded reports of a pedestrian struck on I-80/94 at the 0.4 mile-marker around 10:30 a.m. 

A passenger vehicle was parked on the right side of the eastbound lanes and the occupants were outside the car working on changing a flat tire. 

A semi operated by PDQ Trucking LLC out of Mendota was traveling eastbound at the same location when a wheel from the trailer disengaged from the rear tandem. 

Police say the wheel came off due to mechanical issues. 


The tire was still attached to the rim when it struck the south barrier and continued to travel east along the barrier wall.  The wheel then struck a 15-year-old male that was assisting with the tire change.  

That victim was transported to a local hospital and later transferred to a hospital in Chicago for treatment of potentially life-threatening injuries.  

Four other individuals outside the vehicle also sustained non-life-threatening injuries.  

The driver of the semi was transported to a local hospital for toxicology tests, which police say is standard protocol in these types of incidents. Drug and alcohol results are pending, but they are not believed to be a factor in the crash. 

The truck was impounded for a post-crash inspection.