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 outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories narly eveenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in Wst Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.