12/22/2011 09:22 EST | Updated 02/21/2012 05:12 EST

Flying Truck Tire Kills Toronto-Area Highway Driver

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A Hamilton mother of three is dead after the car she was driving was struck head-on by a wheel that flew off a tractor-trailer on a highway near Burlington, Ont.

Ontario Provincial Police told CBC News that just after 6:45 a.m., a truck’s wheel bounced across the highway median and struck the woman’s car on the QEW at Northshore Boulevard near the Burlington Skyway.

"Essentially what happened is the truck was southbound, Niagara-bound, when the wheel became detached from the truck, bounced over the centre median into the northbound traffic, and struck the Honda vehicle," explained OPP Const. Graham Williamson.

Miroslawa Chimielewski, 53, was driving alone and travelling toward Toronto. The wheel struck the front of her car. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

"The [driver]would not have seen it coming at all," said Williamson.

Police are still searching for the truck.

"Eventually [the truck driver] will become aware [that the wheel is missing]," Williamson said.

"We've notified several agencies in the area — municipal forces in the area, Ministry of Transportation, [the Canada] border agency, as well — to try and locate this truck," he said.

At his home in Hamilton, Marek Chmielewski told CBC News that he had lost his wife and his "best friend." The couple had been married more than 30 years.

He said the family was looking forward to "spending Christmas all together."

Their children, Tom, Luke and Anna — all in their 20s — are devastated.

Police are asking anyone who witnessed the accident, or who may have seen a truck missing a wheel, to contact them.