Motorcyclists are more at risk on public roads than other motorists. Aside from the obvious deficiencies (traction, visibility, etc.), riders also have to contend with distracted drivers and roadway hazards. When clearly marked and stationary, the latter is easy to maneuver around. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case for one San Diego, California, rider when a car wheel careened into his path on Interstate 5.

The incident occurred on March 30, 2021, when San Ysidro motorcyclist Servando Lopez was heading home around noontime. Near the I-5 and Interstate 15 junction, Lopez saw a spare wheel barreling toward him. Without enough time to perform evasive actions, the oncoming object colliding with Lopez’s front wheel, sending him to the pavement on one of California’s busiest highways.

“My first thought was ‘I gotta get up, I gotta get up’ because I don’t know what’s going on behind me. There could be cars speeding. They could run me over,” admitted Lopez.

Lopez taped the crash with a helmet-mounted camera, allowing viewers to experience his terrifying moments on the deck. Luckily, the traffic stopped and two motorists helped him to the side of the road. Lopez had his Kawasaki Vulcan 500 towed home and he visited the local urgent care center for a quick check-up. Without any major injuries, Lopez was quickly released but he knows it could have been much worse.

“I think the biggest takeaway from this is for motorcyclists to wear their gear because I hit the ground pretty hard,” noted Lopez. “You can see my helmet is scratched up, my jacket is scratched up, but if I hadn’t been wearing that, I would’ve been in way worse condition.”

As for the cause of the crash, motorists reported seeing a man roll the wheel down a hill on the side of the freeway and into oncoming traffic. California Highway Patrol arrived at the scene and searched for the man, but couldn’t locate him. Despite the crash and disappointing investigation results, Lopez plans on buying a new motorcycle in the future, but for now, he’s taking a much-deserved break from riding.

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