A 69-year-old man has died in hospital after the front of his SUV was crushed by a flying truck wheel on Highway 400 north of Toronto on Wednesday.

The OPP says a southbound truck lost a set of tandem tires from its trailer's right rear side and they bounced into the northbound lanes, hitting the man's SUV which then veered into a ditch.

Photos from the scene show the SUV's hood and the front half of the roof badly crumpled and the windshield shattered.

This is the second fatally in the past three months caused by flying wheels on a 400-series highway.

On Nov. 6, 2015, a female driver on the 401 was killed just east of London when a wheel broke off from a transport truck, jumped the median and collided with her vehicle.

Just a few days later a van carrying boy scouts from Michigan was hit on the same stretch of highway.

After a series of incidents in the mid-1990s, heavy penalties were introduced, along with more intensive inspections of commercial vehicles by the Ministry of Transportation (MTO).

And while reports of truck wheels coming off have dropped dramatically, there has been a troubling reversal in recent years:

  • 1997 - 215 reports of wheels coming loose
  • 2010 - 47 reports of wheels coming loose
  • 2012 - 97 reports of wheels coming loose

Investigators in the latest incident are looking into the truck's maintenance records to find out why the wheel came loose.

(With files from CP24 and CTV London)