Freak tire accident kills motorist on New York expressway

VIDEO: A civilian employee of the New York City Police Department was killed in an accident on a local freeway Wednesday morning when a spare tire fell off a truck and smashed into his car, police said.PlayWABC
WATCH Spare tire falls off truck, kills NYPD employee on expressway, police say

A civilian employee of the New York City Police Department was killed in an accident on a local freeway Wednesday morning when a tire flew off a truck and smashed into his car, police said.

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Robert Martinez, 64, who worked in building maintenance at NYPD headquarters in Manhattan, was driving east in a 2003 Chevy Tracker on the Gowanus Expressway in Brooklyn just after 6:30 a.m. ET when a 2009 Mack garbage truck traveling in the opposite direction had a rear tire that suddenly became unhinged. The tire flew over the center median and struck and shattered the windshield of the Chevy, which then collided into the divider, police said.

Martinez, who was found unconscious and unresponsive, suffered severe head trauma and was rushed to New York University Langone Hospital in Brooklyn, where he was later pronounced dead. The 46-year-old driver and 27-year-old passenger of the garbage truck remained at the scene, police said.

Police are investigating the incident. No charges were initially filed Wednesday.

Less than a month ago, another New York driver was killed when a tractor trailer lost a tire on a highway in Long Island.

ABC News' Morgan Winsor contributed to this report.