What to Know
- A tire flew off a truck on the Gowanus Expressway and hit the windshield of an NYPD employee's vehicle, sending the car through a barrier
- The 64-year-old worker, Robert Martinez, was unresponsive at the scene and later pronounced dead
- It's the second flying tire freak accident that killed someone in New York in less than a month
A 64-year-old NYPD employee died when a tire flew off a truck on the Gowanus Expressway and smashed into his windshield as he drove in the HOV lane, authorities said Wednesday.
Robert Martinez, a maintenance worker at NYPD headquarters, was traveling east near exit 3 around 6:30 a.m. when the tire somehow became unhinged from a westbound truck and flew to the opposite side of the highway, hitting Martinez's Rav 4. The sudden impact drove the civilian NYPD employee into a barrier.
He sustained massive head trauma and was unresponsive when authorities arrived at the scene. He was later pronounced dead at a hospital. The Rav 4 also sustained heavy damage, authorities said.
The truck driver stayed at the scene. It's not clear if any charges were expected to be filed. The NYPD's District Collision Team is investigating.
The roadway was shut down in the area for a time as authorities investigated.
It's the second flying tire freak accident that killed someone in New York in less than a month. In early July, a man was driving on Sunrise Highway in East Babylon when a tire flew off another vehicle and hit him. That truck driver later came forward and was said to be cooperating with police.