Fire official injured when tire crashes through car window
By ANNE LINDBERG
© St. Petersburg Times, published October 15, 2000
PINELLAS PARK -- A Pinellas Park fire official narrowly missed serious injury Wednesday in a freak traffic accident.
Dave Holler, district chief of Emergency Medical Services, received some minor cuts from broken glass and he was stiff the next day, said Pinellas Park fire Chief Ken Cramer.
Holler did not return a phone message asking for comment.
The city car that Holler was driving sustained substantial damage, but it's unclear how much it will cost to repair the car. City officials still were getting estimates Friday, said Tom Owens, the head of the personnel department, which oversees risk management.
Owens said the city is still waiting for the accident report from the Florida Highway Patrol, which came to the scene.
Cramer said it happened this way:
Holler was driving along Interstate 275 about 4:50 p.m. near Gandy Boulevard. He was traveling about 60 to 65 mph. The spare tire flew off a pickup truck and began bouncing along the road. It bounced into the city car and crashed through the windshield on the passenger's side.
"Literally, there was glass from one end of that car to another," Cramer said.
Glass shards hit Holler and landed in his shirt. Other glass pieces were found under the seat and in the trunk.
"Anything that could possibly absorb pieces of glass, it was imbedded in there," Cramer said.
Holler managed to get the car to the side of the road. A passing Highway Patrol trooper who saw part of the accident pulled over to help him.
While they were standing there talking, the tire's owner pulled up on the other side of the road and began looking for his tire.
It's unclear whether the truck's owner was charged, because Highway Patrol reports take seven to 10 working days to complete.
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