NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — An NYPD employee driving an SUV was killed Wednesday morning after police say a tire flew off a truck on the Gowanus Expressway in Brooklyn.

Around 6:30 a.m., police say 64-year-old Robert Martinez was going into work driving his SUV eastbound on the expressway near exit 20 when the wheel flew off a private sanitation truck traveling in the opposite direction, CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported.

The wheel smashed into the SUV’s windshield, sending the vehicle into a median barrier and killing Martinez. The driver of the sanitation truck, which is owned by Century Waste Services out of Elizabeth, New Jersey, stayed at the scene.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Century Waste said “Our hearts go out to the family of the victim, this event was an unfortunate accident. We are fully cooperating with the investigation of this tragic event.”

It is still unclear at this point how the wheel of the truck came loose.

The NYPD says Martinez worked in maintenance at Police Headquarters in Manhattan. His identity has not been released.

As police continue to investigate, there are delays are Brooklyn-bound side of the expressway at 3rd Avenue in Brooklyn.

Drivers should consider alternate routes. For more on current traffic conditions, click here.


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