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Cops: Motorist on LIE shoulder struck by dislodged tire

All lanes of the westbound Long Island Expressway

All lanes of the westbound Long Island Expressway were briefly closed Wednesday in Holbrook so an injured person could be airlifted to a nearby hospital, Suffolk County police said. (April 24, 2013) Credit: Robert Garofalo

A motorist standing on the shoulder of the Long Island Expressway near Exit 61 in Holbrook on Wednesday afternoon was critically injured when he tried to stop one of two tires that had dislodged from a passing truck from hitting his vehicle, police said.

The unidentified man was airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital after being struck by the tire, a spokeswoman for the Suffolk County Police Department said. Another police spokesman later said the man was in critical condition.

It was not known why the motorist pulled over, the spokeswoman said. Photographs from the scene show no damage to his late-model, light-colored Jeep.

The spokeswoman said detectives from the Sixth Precinct and officers from the motor carrier unit were investigating.

It was not known how long the Jeep was on the shoulder before the two tires fell from a rear axle of the truck about 1:24 p.m. Westbound lanes were closed while the man was airlifted, police said.

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