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Driver Comes Forward in Freak Flying Tire Highway Death

What to Know

  • A driver says he believes a tire that struck a car on Sunrise Highway came from his trailer

  • The 60-year-old driver of the car that was struck died in the ensuing crash

  • The trailer and pickup truck have been impounded for a safety check

A driver has contacted police saying he believes the tire that smashed into another car, claiming a man's life, came from his trailer.

Joseph Nickel, 48, of Islip, said he was driving a pickup truck and pulling a trailer on Sunrise Highway in West Babylon on July 5, according to Suffolk County police.

He told police that he later discovered the trailer was missing a tire.

A tire flew into the westbound lanes of the Sunrise Highway, smashing into the front passenger side window of a Saturn, police said.

Emilio Espejel/AP

David Dorazio, 60, was driving the Saturn and died when he lost control and hit the center median of the highway.

The tire then hit a second vehicle, a Chevy SUV with two people inside. The shaken driver in that SUV, Mary DiFranco-Garone, described the harrowing 30 seconds in which she witnessed the flying tire hitting the sedan.

"It came from the other side of the highway, and it bounced, hit [the Saturn driver], he hit the wall to avoid him coming back, I swerved, and the tire hit me," she told NBC 4 New York.

"We're very lucky. That poor person, whoever they are. They were just at the wrong place at the wrong time," she said.

Nickel's pickup and trailer have been impounded for a safety check, police said.

He is cooperating with police.

Flying Tire Kills Person on NY Highway

[NY] Flying Tire Kills Person on NY Highway

The investigation is ongoing.

NBC

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