NEWS

Police seek truck in fatal loose wheel crash

12/23/2011 08:56 EST | Updated 02/22/2012 05:12 EST

The Ontario Provincial Police have located the truck and driver involved in Thursday’s fatal accident in which a loose truck wheel crossed the QEW median and killed a Hamilton woman driving in the opposite lane.

The OPP released no details about the truck or its driver, saying the accident remains under investigation

On Thursday morning, 53-year-old Miroslawa Chimielewski was driving toward Toronto on the QEW near the Skyway Bridge when a truck wheel came through her windshield. Chimielewski, a married mother of three, died instantly.

The driver didn't remain at the scene, but at the time police said it's possible the driver was not aware the wheel had come loose.

The accident comes despite tougher safety laws passed by Queen's Park in the late 1990s.

The changes came after an inquest into the deaths of two people killed by loose truck tires found the wheels had been poorly maintained and improperly installed.

But some drivers who spoke to CBC News say even with tougher rules, accidents can still occur.

Truck driver Mike Stobey checks his tires every day before he hits the road.

“Lots of times it’s mechanical in behind the wheel that you can't see,” he said. “Something's broke or something is about to break and you don't know until you do lose it.”

David Bradley is the president of the Ontario Trucking Association.

"If a wheel comes off you're subject to fines up to $50,000,” he said. “As well there's mandatory wheel installer training in the province of Ontario.”

Mike Stobey’s dad David is a former trucker.

“The trucks are one issue,” he said. “Trailers are another. [Drivers] don't know what trailer they're going to pick up. It's up to them to do their safety inspections.”

It's what's kept his son Mike Stobey accident-free for the last 14-years and he hopes for many more to come.

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