Driver dies after vehicle struck by runaway truck wheel on Alberta highway

A driver who died Sunday on the QE2 highway near Ponoka may have been fatally struck by a runaway wheel from a semi-trailer truck before his car crashed into a guardrail.

'This appears to be a very tragic, unexpected, freak incident,' say Ponoka RCMP

Ponoka RCMP released these photographs of a truck wheel and tire assembly found at the scene of a highway collision Sunday in which a 54-year-old driver was killed. (RCMP)

A driver who died Sunday on the QE2 highway near Ponoka may have been fatally struck by a runaway wheel from a semi-trailer truck before his car crashed into a guardrail.

"This appears to be a very tragic, unexpected, freak incident,"  Ponoka RCMP Sgt. Chris Smiley said in a news release Monday.

"We want to speak to anyone who might know anything, in order to bring some closure to this investigation, both from an investigational perspective and for the family's sake."

Ponoka RCMP responded to a single-vehicle collision on the QE2 near the Highway 53 overpass just before 7 p.m. Sunday.

A northbound vehicle appeared to have lost control and struck a guard rail.

The 54-year-old driver died at the scene. His female passenger suffered minor injuries. She was treated and released.

"Preliminary investigation indicates that a large tire, consistent with one used on a semi trailer, may have come unlodged from [a] southbound vehicle and struck the driver of the northbound vehicle," RCMP said in the news release.

"Following this, the driver was fatally injured and lost control of the vehicle."

Police released photographs of a truck wheel and tire found at the collision scene.