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Reno Co. sheriff's deputy hit by flying hubcap on traffic stop

Published: Jul. 27, 2017 at 6:26 PM CDT
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A Reno County sheriff's deputy conducting a traffic stop is hit in the leg by a hubcap.

Deputy Mikel Bohringer was on K-61 Highway when he says he heard a metal noise off in the distance.

"I didn't know if it was a tow-strap or anything underneath the vehicle. So I kind of flinched just a little bit," he said.

Bohringer believes the rumble strips on the side of the road caused the hubcaps to shake lose, hitting him in the ankle.

"It felt like a 10-pound brick that hit the backside of where the Achilles tendon goes into the base of the ankle. It kind of took me by surprise," he said.

Frank Clune at Downtown Automotive in Hutchinson said this is unlike anything they've ever seen before.

"I mean, I personally have seen a hubcap come off of a car I was driving once, but you've never seen it chasing somebody down like it did the deputy," Clune said.

Clune said a car's hubcap can come off when wheel is damaged.

"I would just advise people to check their hubcaps every once and a while," Clune said. "If you hit a curb and you have a hubcap, chances are it's going to be damaged."

Deputy Bohringer said the RV's owners were heading to California from Missouri. He said they recently had their tires replaced.

"He came back and they were absolutely apologetic," Bohringer said. "They were concerned about my well being, and they had absolutely no idea that that had happened. It was just a freak accident, but I'm OK."

Deputy Bohringer said this is a good reminder why people should move over when they see emergency lights on the side of the road.

"Traffic stops are one of the most dangerous things we do as law enforcement," he said. "Move over and give emergency vehicles adequate space to do their job."

Deputies face many dangers with traffic stops. As you will see in this video, this incident is not common but very serious. One of our Deputies stops a vehicle on K61 Highway in Western Reno County. As he is speaking to the driver, another vehicle merges left to pass. A hubcap comes loose from the wheel and the center of the hubcap strikes the Deputy in the ankle area. The Deputy was evaluated and lucky enough to only have some painful bruising.

Posted by Reno County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday, 26 July 2017