Wheel detaches from semi on I-70, sparking grass fire

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 | 4:50 p.m. CDT; updated 9:09 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, May 20, 2014
A lone tire sits on the westbound Interstate 70 off-ramp at the Midway exit in Boone County on Tuesday afternoon. Firefighters determined it was the cause of a grass fire along the interstate.

COLUMBIA — An errant truck wheel caused a small grass fire Tuesday afternoon off Interstate 70.

While a semitrailer was in the westbound lanes of Interstate 70 shortly after noon Tuesday, a wheel detached from the truck and landed near the off-ramp of Interstate 70 Exit 121. The wheel sparked a fire that charred a small patch of grass.

The Boone County Fire Protection District dispatched crews and put out the blaze in about 10 minutes, Capt. Martina Pounds, said.

No one was injured in the incident.

Initially, the sound of the wheel detaching from the semitrailer was so loud that it was reported as an explosion, Pounds said.

Tire blowouts happen frequently on the interstate, but losing an entire wheel is unusual, Pounds said.

Supervising editor is Edward Hart.

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