Road debris continuous hazard plaguing Oklahoma drivers daily

OKLAHOMA CITY - The Dallas junction, the crossroads of I-35 and I-40 in Oklahoma City, is considered by some as America's crossroads. Hundreds of thousands of vehicles venture across the intersecting roadways each day.

For Regina Miller and her husband, traversing the junction is party of their daily route to work. However, that route took a dangerous turn in the dark Tuesday morning.

"I looked up and saw it, as he hollered," said Miller. "So I figure it came off a flatbed trailer that was in front of us."

A wheel and tire, skidding at highway speeds, right towards the Miller's truck as they traveled on eastbound I-40, just east of I-35.

"I looked up to see it and then the truck went airborne and it slammed back down, I was like, 'Stop the car! Stop, stop, stop!' Of course, the guy behind us, he hit it too."

Thankfully, no one was hurt, but the wheel and tire did a number on their 3 month old pickup truck's front end.

"We figured it came off that trailer and it just slid off the back of it, not secured," Miller said as she and her husband waited for an estimate from a collision and body shop on the city's north side.

Miller said it's not the first time she and her husband have struck debris on I-40. It's a problem, not just in Oklahoma, but nationwide as well.

According to a 2016 study by AAA, road debris factored into more than 50,000 reported crashes, resulting in 9,800 injuries and 125 deaths, each year.

"You may be going just a couple miles down the road, or whatever, it's still important to secure that load, even if you are traveling at a slow speed," said Oklahoma Highway Patrol Capt. Paul Timmons.

A reminder to not take what you're carrying or towing for granted, as it can be a danger, not just to other drivers, but you as well.

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