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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

WATCH: Detached tyre flips Kia Soul in dramatic highway crash

Despite the nature of the accident, the driver of the Kia walked away with no reported injuries.

The dangers of a vehicle’s tyre coming off at high speed, a hazard many drivers are keen to avoid at all costs, took a dramatic and frighting turn for the driver of a Kia Soul in the United States this past weekend.

Watch dramatic footage below

In a video posted on social media, dashcam footage from driver Anoop Khatra’s Tesla on Los Angeles’ Ronald Regan Highway starts off with little indication of what was to happen and shows him passing a truck with the electric vehicle’s infamous Autopilot said to have been in-operation.

At the nine second mark, the camera captures the black Soul and a white Jeep Compass entering the picture, again without any hint of what was to happen.


The horrifying moment arrives after 14 seconds as the Soul is about to pass a Chevrolet Silverado driving in the opposite lane, when the Silverado’s left front tyre comes off before embedding itself underneath the Kia.

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This causes the Soul to be launched into the air where it does a complete rotation before smashing back onto highway as bits and pieces of its disintegrating body and frame are scattered across the road.

A second insult to injury then takes place as the offending wheel, which disappeared from view, makes a return by smashing into back of the Soul before presumably losing momentum and rolling to stop without causing any more destruction.

Although the video doesn’t mention what happened to the Silverado, the single cab bakkie is shown continuing down the highway on three wheels for a short distance, before pulling off in the distance.

Escaped without a mark

Miraculously, the driver of Soul escaped being launched into the air and the smash back down without any injury as indicated by Khatra and, according to Fox10 News, by the Los Angeles Police Department.

An investigation is likely to have started into the crash, likely as a result of the wheel not being attached correctly to the Silverado’s wheel hub, or due to the wheel nuts failing completely.

A careful study of the clips shows the white Chevrolet has been fitted with chunky off-road tyres jutting out from the wheel arches, suggesting it might have been equipped with non-factory wheel spacers that failed to keep the wheel attached the moment the Soul passed it.

Five-star safety

Either way, the clip is once again testament to the rigours of modern vehicle safety and why manufactures fork out millions to make them as safe as possible.

As a point of interest, the Soul, which in the accident appeared to be a first generation model, not only received a five-star Euro NCAP crash rating when tested in 2009, but also a “good” rating by the North American Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

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