Wheel flies off semi, hits home

OKEECHOBEE — Cynthia Redmon and her husband Peter Bouchard were awakened by a loud noise early Saturday that turned out to be a tractor-trailer wheel and tire that had crashed into the front of their home.

The wheel and tire not only ripped two windows off the front of their home on U.S. 441 S.E. at County Road 15-B, but also rammed into the front of the couple’s 1992 Jeep. Apparently, said Mrs. Redmon, the wheel came off the tractor-trailer, struck the Jeep then bounced onto their house.

The window of an Okeechobee County residence was damaged when a semi wheel came off the truck, hit a vehicle and bounced against the house.

And, it did so with a tremendous ruckus.

“It scared the daylights out of us, as a matter of fact,” said Mrs. Redmon in a phone interview Tuesday, May 2.

At first, she thought the couple’s bicycles had fallen over in the front room, which had happened before. But when they got up to investigate the commotion, their bikes were still upright.

 

 

She said Mr. Bouchard grabbed his gun and went outside and saw where something had struck his Jeep. As he was walking back to the house he saw the wheel and tire.

“He wondered where the wheel came from,” recalled Mrs. Redmon, who went on to add the truck driver did not stop.

But, wait, there’s more. Later on in the day the couple were heading northwest into Okeechobee when they found another tractor-trailer wheel and tire along the east side of U.S. 441 S.E. The wheel was leaning against a wire fence.

“We had not noticed the wheel before,” pointed out Mrs. Redmon.

A report by Deputy Joann Henderson, of the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO), stated both tires were Atlas-brand tires.

Mrs. Redmon said she did not look at the tires to see if they were the same type of tire. But, she continued, the two wheels “looked the same to me.”

Which brought up this question? Did the truck driver know the wheels had come off?

“I’ve never driven a semi, but I would think there would be some sort of wobbling there,” she mused.

And if a wheel hitting your vehicle and home weren’t odd enough, Mrs. Redmon said they are putting up a privacy fence around their home and the wheel found its way between two posts. The fencing had not yet been attached to the posts.

Mrs. Redmon said no one — not even the couple’s dogs or their 11-year-old cat — were hurt in the incident.

Where the wheel hit the front of the home was right where the cat would have been sleeping. She said she found glass inside her home, but none had struck the cat.

A report was taken by Deputy Henderson, but Mrs. Redmon has also contacted the Florida Department of Transportation (DOT).

Tuesday, she received an email from DOT indicating the incident has been turned over to the state’s Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV).

According to Deputy Henderson’s report, damage to the home was estimated to be about $8,000 while damages to the Jeep are estimated to be around $3,000. The couple does not have insurance on their home or vehicle.

Mrs. Redmon explained they bought their home outright and chose not to carry insurance on the dwelling due to the cost.

Even though both she and her husband were frightened about what happened, Mrs. Redmon took it a bit further: “What if it had been a school day,” when kids would have been waiting for their bus?

If you have any information concerning this incident, call the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office at 863-763-3117.

Early Saturday morning, a loose semi truck wheel damaged the front of a parked 1992 Jeep Cherokee. The semi driver did not stop.

A truck wheel came off a semi, early Saturday morning, struck a vehicle, broke the window on a home and came to rest in front of the damaged home.

 

Eric Kopp is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News

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