A man in his fifties has been killed after a tractor-trailer’s wheel flew off and struck his van on a highway in Ottawa early Friday morning.

Ontario Provincial Police said the tractor-trailer was heading westbound just before 6 a.m. on Hwy. 417 near Carling Avenue when the driver noticed smoke coming from his vehicle. As the driver pulled over, a set of his truck’s wheels became detached and bounced across three lanes and over the cement median before striking a van heading eastbound on the Queensway, according to the OPP.

OPP Const. Eric Booth said the force of the tire ripped off the roof of the van and the driver was killed instantly.

“The driver of the van, he didn’t even probably know it was coming at him,” Booth said. “You have two heavy tires, probably in excess of 1,000 pounds, flying towards him. He wouldn’t have seen it.”

The identity of the victim has not been released until his next of kin have been notified, the OPP said. They did reveal that he worked for an Ottawa company and he was from Carleton Place, Ont., outside of the city.

The driver of the tractor-trailer has been charged with driving with a detached part and the Ottawa-based company that owns the truck has been charged with operating an unsafe vehicle.

Two other vehicles that swerved to avoid the crash were involved in a minor collision but there were only minor injuries involved in that accident, according to the OPP.

CTV Ottawa reported that the Hwy. 417 eastbound lanes at Carling Avenue had reopened after they had been closed all morning for the investigation.

With files from CTV Ottawa