SALT LAKE CITY — Five people were taken to the hospital Sunday after a wheel on a fifth-wheel trailer came loose and destroyed the windshield of a minivan, authorities said.
Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Sgt. Blaine L. Robbins said the loose tire hit the minivan near mile post 311, between the Salt Lake County and Davis County border, at about 11 a.m.
Minivan passengers Corey Peterson, 45, Heather Peterson, 37, Andrew Peterson, 17, Hailey Peterson, 11, and Christa Peterson, 11, were transported to local hospitals with minor injuries.
Ronald Bachman, 73 and Mary Bachman, 68, from Tetonia, Idaho were traveling south on I-15 when the lug nuts came loose on a left front wheel of the trailer for an unknown reason, Robbins said. He said according to witnesses the wheel bounced up and over the top of a wall into southbound traffic.
"(The tire) came down basically right in the windshield, right in the center of the windshield of the minivan, completely destroying the windshield," Robbins said. "It collapsed the roof...it was a mess."
Robbins said Corey Peterson was able to drive the van to the shoulder and out of traffic.
He said the Idaho couple didn't realize the tire was missing, and after calls from witnesses UHP officers were able to stop them near 7200 south.
"Sure enough, they were missing a wheel and the wheel matched the one that we had there," he said. "They were devastated and felt horrible. You know, what do you do? It’s just kind of a crappy deal, it wasn’t their fault."
Robbins said the couple recently had new tires put on the trailer. He encouraged drivers to check their equipment but said this case was out of the ordinary.
"As far as I’m concerned they did check their equipment and everything was fine," he said. "This is one of those freaky things that I could give the advice to check your equipment but in this case, I don't know if it would have made much of a difference. It was just kind of a weird deal."
The sixth minivan passenger, Brooke Peterson, 16, was not taken the hospital. The Peterson family is from West Jordan.