Naples teen, infant recovering from freak tire accident

Video from NBC-2

A 19-year-old pregnant woman who was seriously injured after a tire broke free from its vehicle and knocked her unconscious on a Naples sidewalk is improving at Lee Memorial Hospital, according to hospital officials.

Lesley Coley of Naples was eight months pregnant when the accident occurred last week and she was flown by medical helicopter to the hospital where doctors performed an emergency Caesarean section to save her baby, according to NBC-2 reports. The accident occurred shortly after 7:30 p.m. July 31.

“She is in fair condition,” Lee Memorial spokeswoman Pat Dolce said of Coley’s condition on Monday. She had no information about the infant.

Coley’s sister, Cecilia Coley, has established a web page on www.gofundme.com seeking donations to “help the Coley baby.” The sister could not be reached Monday.

According to Florida Highway Patrol reports, Lesley Coley was standing on the sidewalk on Airport-Pulling Road near Francis Avenue when the driver of a 2004 Jeep Wrangler was traveling south on Airport Road.

For an unknown reason, the left front wheel of the Wrangler broke free and bounced along the road, crossed the median onto the shoulder of the northbound lanes near where Coley was standing at the sidewalk.

She began running south on the sidewalk to try and avoid being hit by the tire but it struck her in the back, according to FHP. She was knocked face first on the sidewalk and knocked unconscious, FHP stated.

The tire then struck a car that was in the westbound left turn lane at Glades Boulevard.

According to her Cecilia Coley’s web page, her sister suffered brain injuries and doctors delivered the three-pound baby boy prematurely. Cecilia Coley seeks donations to care for the baby and her sister once they are able to leave the hospital.

Leith L. House, 39, of Naples, the driver of the Wrangler, was ticketed for driving a vehicle in unsafe condition.

A similar accident occurred the same day in Pittsburgh when 19-year-old Katie Puwalowski died after her car was struck by a tire that came off a Jeep Grand Cherokee that was traveling in the opposite direction on Interstate 376, according to Associated Press reports.

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