A female driver died on the southbound Highway 99 on Tuesday night after a tire flew off a vehicle coming from the opposite direction and struck her windshield, said California Highway Patrol Officer Ben Glapenske.
The driver's name and age have not been released. She was from Granada Hills, Glapenske said.
Two passengers, a man and a woman, both about 60, suffered minor injuries. They were taken to Kern Medical Center for treatment, Glapenske said.
At about 7:30 p.m., a vehicle traveling northbound lost one of its tires. The tire bounced across the highway to the southbound side, crushed the windshield of a Jeep and hit the driver. The driver died when the tire hit her, Glapenske said. The car then lost control and hit the guardrail between the Highway 58 onramp and California Avenue offramp.
Between the speed of the northbound vehicle and the speed of the Jeep, impact from the tire would have been equivalent to about 115 miles per hour, Glapenske said.
It is not unheard of for tires to fly across lanes if they come off while driving on a highway, he said.
"This isn't the first one I've been to," he said. "It's rare, but it does happen."