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Man says airborne tire slammed into his car on Utah highway

Posted at 10:14 PM, Oct 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-23 08:13:55-04

WEST JORDAN, Utah — A driver is recovering from injuries sustained in an unusual car accident that took place on Mountain View Corridor in West Jordan.

Timothy Assink says he was driving northbound on the highway Wednesday afternoon, when an out-of-control, airborne tire slammed into his car.

“I just saw it kind of in the air and I couldn’t tell that it was coming in my direction,” said Assink to FOX 13 on Thursday. “I couldn’t even tell at first that it was coming at me and then it hit the car and I didn’t expect that it would do that much damage but then it just blew out the window.”

Assink says he was traveling about 65 miles per hour and had only a few seconds to react. He didn’t swerve but feared that the tire would hit another car behind him.

“I was kind of worried about hitting other people and so I just tried to keep my mind calm although my first thought was ‘am I dead’?” said Assink. “I’m so grateful that I’m not as badly hurt as I could have been and I know I could be in a lot worse shape.”

The 2008 Chevrolet Malibu had it’s driver-side mirror snapped off, the door dented and the driver-side window completely smashed in. When Assink returned home, he was covered in glass and blood.

“It just like blasted right into my face and got my face and hands scratched up and destroyed my sunglasses which probably saved my eyesight and maybe my life,” said Assink.

He says no one stopped to offer help despite the road being fairly busy around 4:15 Wednesday afternoon. When he quickly scanned for the rogue tire, he couldn’t locate it along the side of the road.

As he stood next to his wife recalling what happened, Assink says he feels lucky considering he didn’t get hurt to a worse extent.

“It could have been 10 times worse,” he said.

“It’s a complete accident, totally unintentional, but you take 5 minutes to secure whatever you’re hauling,” said Timothy Assink’s wife Gienie, who was still shaken by the initial phone call she got after the accident. “You know I could have been without a husband and my kids could have been without a father just because somebody wasn’t careful and that’s scary.”

If you witnessed the accident or any activity that may explain the tire being airborne in the first place, please contact West Jordan Police and reference case number: 20H015168