Runaway tire narrowly misses officer

August 6, 2009 4:34:16 AM PDT
If you blink, you may miss it, but what happened on the Fred Hartman Bridge has a Houston-area law enforcement officer counting his blessings. The Fred Hartman Bridge connects Baytown to La Porte in east Harris County, Texas. It's the place a driver stopped to change a tire and a deputy constable stopped to help. That's when it became far from routine.

A driver got a flat tire in a precarious position, near the peak of the Fred Hartman Bridge in Baytown. With traffic whizzing by, the driver called for assistance.

"He was nervous to change a tire without an emergency vehicle behind him," said Sergeant Matthew Davidson.

Just as the driver pulls his flat tire off the retaining wall and as Sergeant Davidson put his hand on the rail, a 200-pound wheel that broke free of an 18-wheeler flew by.

The sergeant says he never knew what hit him, but he could tell something was wrong, when he offered to help load the flat tire.

"Right at that time when he looked at me to answer, I just saw his eyes get big and he made a noise," said Sergeant Davidson.

Sergeant Davidson says somehow the 60 mph tire only scuffed up his weapon and ripped a screw out of his holster.

However, he was actually standing in the path of the tire and only moves seconds before it scrapes by.

Needless to say, he needed some fresh air afterward.

"I got a little sick to my stomach immediately afterwards. First thing I did when I got off the scene, I pulled my patrol car over and said a little prayer for the protections," said Sergeant Davidson.

The truck driver never stopped and it all happened too quick to figure out which truck it came from, but Sergeant Davidson is OK and still on the job.

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