DENVILLE, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – Police say a tire came off a pickup truck and triggered a multi-vehicle accident that claimed the life of a New Jersey man on Interstate 80.

State Police say 77-year-old Sheldon Lefkowitz of Englewood Cliffs was heading west in Denville Thursday night when a pickup heading east lost a rear tire.

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State Police say the tire came over the median and struck the Audi Lefkowitz was driving in with his wife, which then hit a pickup towing a trailer and another car. His car then slammed into a guardrail before ending up back on the highway.

As CBS2’s Steve Langford reported, the Lefkowitz had just begun driving to Ohio to visit their grandchildren when the accident happened.

Lefkowitz was pronounced dead at the scene. He would have turned 78 on Monday.

“You know, he was like a father to me it’s very hard…it’s very hard,” Tony Covino said, a neighbor of Lefkowitz.

“You couldn’t stop the guy, he was healthy as could be,” he said.

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His wife sustained injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening.

No one else was injured.

“As an auto mechanic myself, tires don’t just fall off like that. Covino said.

No charges have been filed and the accident remains under investigation.

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