By Jim McKeever Staff writer
A DeWitt muffler and brake shop got an unexpected drive-through customer Wednesday.
A 200-pound tire came loose from an East Syracuse firetruck, rolled about 1,000 feet down Erie Boulevard East and crashed through a window at Monro Muffler Brake.
No one was injured in the 7:20 a.m. accident. The shop at 3711 Erie Blvd. E. was able to open on time 10 minutes later.
"It was very strange," said Sean Lucas, Monro manager. "We had one of the technicians waiting in the driveway who saw the whole thing. It came close to his car, maybe a foot away."
After the tire crashed through the 78-by-91-inch window of a conference room, it smashed three tables and a couple of chairs, and it tipped over Lucas’ coffee maker.
The East Syracuse Fire Department’s two-year-old Truck 1 was on the way to assist the DeWitt Fire Department on a possible dryer fire. As the truck passed Grenfell Road near DeWitt Community Church, driver Rob Quonce felt the truck start to vibrate, DeWitt police reported.
Both right rear tires came off the axle and began rolling in different directions.
One tire struck a "Do Not Enter" sign and ended up brushing against a law office before coming to rest. The other bounced and rolled down a grade and across the median and crashed into the muffler shop.
"No other vehicles were struck and there were no injuries," said DeWitt police Capt. Mark Petterelli. "It’s certainly fortunate in that aspect."
East Syracuse fire Chief Joe McAllister said the truck, the department’s newest, is out of service until it can be repaired. The truck sustained some body damage, and the extent of axle damage isn’t known. The truck was able to be driven back to the station on two replacement tires, McAllister said.
The village bought the truck in September 2003 for $798,000, its records show.
McAllister said he doesn’t know why the tires came off, but he said the lug nuts collected after the accident appeared to have sheared off.
"It’s a mystery at this point," he said. There are no indications of foul play or tampering, he and Petterelli said.
Truck 1, with its 95-foot platform, is the department’s primary aerial apparatus, McAllister said. The department has nine other firefighting vehicles, including an 85-foot ladder truck it has since moved from Station 2 near Carrier Circle to Station 1 in the village to take the place of Truck 1.
All firefighting vehicles receive annual state Department of Transportation inspections as well as a yearly preventive maintenance check, McAllister said. Truck 1 was due for an inspection later this month, he said.