A Nanaimo driver narrowly avoided a dangerous situation after his rear tire came loose and rolled nearly 200 metres away while he was driving — but this was no accident.
The Nanaimo RCMP says someone had purposefully loosened the tire’s lug nuts.
Two vehicles were targeted in the parking lot adjacent to the Serauxmen Baseball Stadium located at 745 Third Street on Wednesday.
The first incident involved a blue 2008 Dodge Caliber. The young vehicle owner said he parked his car at 8:10 a.m. and returned four hours later.
“He drove out of the parking lot and unbeknownst to him, the lug nuts had been tampered with,” said the Nanaimo RCMP in a release.
After about eight minutes of driving, police say he began to notice a strong vibration coming from his rear passenger side tire. He drove for a short distance before pulling over to the side of Bowen Road, near Bowen Park.
“I thought I had a flat so I was driving a little bit and it got really really bad so I started to pull over and I looked to the right of me and my car chomped down and I saw my right wheel speed past me,” said Ethan Perpeluk, the 17-year-old victim.
The tire rolled nearly 200 metres through the park, narrowly missing frisbee golf players, before coming to a rest near the tennis courts.
The youth called his father and the two of them managed to retrieve the tire and secure it safely back in place.
“I’m really surprised that no one got hurt because there were so many people playing frisbee golf and the distance the tire went,” said Dan Perpeluk, the teen’s father.
After the incident, he told his friends about what had happened, which ended up possibly preventing another dangerous situation.
Another 17-year-old youth immediately checked his Ford F-150, which was only parked three stalls down from the Caliber.
Sure enough, the hub cab, on his rear passenger tire had been loosened.
“It was very obvious that someone had tampered with it and tried to get to my lugnuts as well. It just doesn’t make sense to me. It’s a huge safety issue,” said Duncan Boychuk.
“These were extremely dangerous and malicious acts of vandalism that could have had tragic consequences, “said Const. Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.
If your lug nuts have been loosened and you haven’t reported it, the RCMP would like to hear from you.
If anyone has information on either of these incidents, you are asked to call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345 and quote file # 2021-8674.
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