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We have reported on a great many bizarre car crashes, but this one might take the cake. A Kia Soul was driving down the highway when a wheel from a nearby truck detached. The wheel hit the Kia, but instead of bouncing off the Kia, the Kia seemingly bounced off the tire and was launched shockingly high into the air. The scene looked nearly cartoonish or something out of a cheesy action flick. Unfortunately, thorough it wasn’t a cheesy movie scene, this freak accident happened to the poor compact SUV

2023 kia soul parked in pastel background
2023 Kia Soul | Kia

Is the Kia Soul safe? 

After watching the video of this freak accident, you might be shocked to know that the driver of the Kia Soul managed to walk away from the crash without serious injury. 

The video was shot by a Tesla driver on the car’s built-in camera. The Kia was driving down the highway just outside of LA, when the Soul pulled alongside a beefed-out Chevrolet Silverado. Whoever put the huge tires on the Chevy must’ve been thinking about spring break because one of the truck’s wheels spun itself clean off. The rogue wheel was so perfectly (unluckily) timed that the wheel came off directly in front of the Kia Soul. The Drive points out that the timing was eerily perfect, that it looked like something out of Mario Kart. 

How did the Kia get launched into the air so high? 

I’m no physicist, so I won’t try to explain how it happened, only that something about the speed of Kia and the wheel and the gravitational pull of the Earth…actually, I have no clue. The video is insane, and I still can’t believe it actually happened. 

The Drive mentions that it’s hard to tell exactly how high the Kia got, but it clearly looks about twice the height of the Chevy Silverado that launched it. The Silverado is a little taller than 6 ft, which would put the Kia Soul somewhere around 12-15ft in the air. The worst part of all is that after the wheel launched the Kia like a HotWheels car and it comes crashing back down to Earth, the wheel rolls up behind the Kia and hits it a second time. 

How does a Chevy Silverado wheel just come off? 

A 2023 Kia Soul, which is one of the best Kia SUVs driving down the road.
2023 Kia Soul | Kia Media

Wheels can come off. It’s rare, but it happens. Seeing as how this particular Chevy Silverado was modified, it stands to reason that something about the aftermarket work done on this truck could be the culprit. If you look carefully, not only is this Silverado on aftermarket wheels and a lift, but it also has dramatic wheel spacers. The smart money says a wheel spacer failure is most likely to blame for this insanely dramatic car crash. 

While a PSA would certainly have been a nicer reminder, this wild crash can serve as a visceral briefing on the importance of using quality parts and skilled mechanics if you want to mod your vehicle. 

Granted, there is a chance this was just a freak thing that caused the wheel to eject. However, most of the time, if something looks like a horse, sounds like a horse, and smells like a horse, it’s probably not a zebra.