Wheel flies off semi & bounces across I-95 in St. Johns County -- killing motorist after crashing through windshield

Florida Highway Patrol: Driver of semi from Daytona Bech unhurt in freak accident

Photo for Headline Surfer® / A freak accident on I-95 in St. Johns County claimed the life of a driver as shown from the wreckage in this snapshot above.

By HENRY FREDERICK
Headline Surfer

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- A Ponte Vedra man man was killed Friday evening after a wheel flew off a tractor-trailer and bounced across the median of Interstate 95 before crashing through his windshield and causing him to wreck, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

Here's a synopsis of what happened in the 5 p.m. fatality as described by Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Dylan Bryan: The tractor-trailer, driven by 43-year-old Michael Hunter of Daytona Beach, was southbound on I-95 when the right wheel assembly separated from its rear axle. The wheel assembly traveled southeast along the interstate, striking the concrete barrier and becoming airborne.

The wheel then crashed through the windshield of 27-year-old Michael Harper's car oncoming car causing him to crash. 

Harper was transported to Flagler Hospital in Palm Coast where he died a short time later. 

Here's a synopsis of what happened in the 5 p.m. fatality as described by Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Dylan Bryan:

The tractor-trailer, driven by 43-year-old Michael Hunter of Daytona Beach, was southbound on I-95 when the right wheel assembly separated from its rear axle. The wheel assembly traveled southeast along the interstate, striking the concrete barrier and becoming airborne. The wheel then crashed through the windshield of 27-year-old Michael Harper's car, causing him to crash. Harper was transported to Flagler Hospital in Palm Coast where he died a short time later. 

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Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area in Central Florida, via HeadlineSurfer.com. Specializing in breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most experienced reporters with dozens of journalism-industry awards in print & digital mediums. Frederick is enrolled online at Full Sail University in Winter Garden, FL, where he's pursuing a Master of Arts degree in New Media/Journalism (graduation in March 2018). Frederick earned his BA in Political Science/Public Admin. (concentration in Writing) from Central Connecticut State University, in 1984, where he recieved the President's Citation for "academic excellence & outstanding campus/community service." Prior to myriad duties as publisher/award-winning journalist of Headline Surfer, 2008-present; Frederick was city hall reporter for the Palatka (FL) Daily News, 2007-2008; city editor of the Taunton (MA) Daily Gazette, 2005-2006; cops & courts/legal affairs writer for the Daytona Beach News-Journal, 1996-2004; and cops & courts reporter for the Rockland (NY) Journal-News/Gannett Suburban Newspapers, 1989-1996.