Diana Hubner says she redirected her grief of her husband’s death into raising awareness for tire safety in a national tour of service
Written by
Elijah Hadley
Diana Hubner
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Tire Mom Facebook Page

On a transnational tour, Hubner donated one new set of tires to a person in need in each of the 50 states. Now on another national tour to 19 states talking about a book she wrote on her experience, Hubner said she found joy and love in educating and serving others.

Hubner, living in Rochester, N.Y., was married to William Clayton Hubner, Jr., a business professor at BYU–Hawaii, who taught at the school from 2003 to his death in 2012. From 2006 to 2008 he served as the dean of the business school, before returning to teaching in 2009.

On Father’s Day in 2012, near Hugo, Colorado, he died in a car accident. The crash was caused by a separation in his truck’s 15-year-old tire, which had not been changed.

Diana Hubner explained she decided to educate others about tire safety after her husband’s death.

“When you’re hurting, it’s important to help and heal. It was a way to deal with my grief, but also a way to serve others and save more lives, so no one else loses a loved one because of their tires.

“The more I helped and taught, the more I felt I was healing from my loss. That’s why the book I’m publishing is entitled ‘My Highway To Healing.’ I felt no one else needed to suffer what I suffered because if the right precautions are taken, so many deaths can be prevented.” Hubner’s book can be purchased on Amazon.

According to Hubner, it is vital to check the year, make, model, and tread depth of one’s tires. “We’re trained to know the make, model, and year of our cars,” she explained, “but not to know the same details for our tires. Rarely are we taught when to change our tires or how to check the pressure and tread depth.”

 

Free tires

As she began her national tour to raise awareness for tire safety and give away one set of free tires to a person in each state, Hubner would first contact family. If members of her family did not need a new set of tires, they would refer her to someone who needed them more.

“My husband and I moved around a lot. I’ve lived in 12 states, three foreign countries and moved a total of 37 times. I knew a lot of people,” she said with a laugh. “I knew somebody, whether it was a family member or friend, in 40 out of the 50 states.”

 

Because she did not know a person in 10 out of the 50 states, Hubner decided she would find someone to give a set of tires to regardless. “Like in the state of Delaware, I contacted the local bishop in Wilmington, and told him what I was doing, to see if he knew anybody.”

The bishop got in touch with Debbie, a woman who, according to Hubner, was “a little leery about the whole thing,” and had understandable reservations. However, Hubner said the bishop “was able to assure Debbie I was the real deal.”



“The Crying Giant”

When she stopped in Delaware, Hubner also had an experience at the Delaware Art Museum, after giving away a set of tires to a woman she had never met. “At the art museum, they have a sculpture that really affected me. It was called ‘The Crying Giant.’ I found out it was built after 9/11, and the sculpture really spoke to me, because I was still mourning the loss of my husband.

“I’ve taught my family, and now I want to save lives with this knowledge of tire safety,” Hubner added. “I recently held an open house at my home in Rochester for my neighbors, and after I presented, one of the neighbors told me they wanted to check their kid’s car’s tires.

“My book is going to also have a chart of all the tire regulations for each DMV in each state, so people living across the country can know the regulations of when they could get their tires changed.”

Julia Duke, from Tennessee, was one of the random recipients of a new set of tires from Hubner. Of the gift of tires, Duke said, “I walked into Costco and saw this lady with pretty red hair standing there. I got in line to order some tires, and I stepped in line, asking for four Michelin tires. This lovely lady standing over my shoulder asked, ‘Would you allow me to purchase your tires for you?’ I said, ‘What?’ We all looked at her. She said, ‘Please, please accept this gift.’

“I’ve always been told that when somebody really wants you to accept something, you should. I was really overwhelmed and got down and said a prayer, thanking the Lord for this woman. I’ve never won anything in my life, so that takes the cake.”

 

Heavenly mission

Since receiving the gift of tires, Duke and Hubner have become very close friends. With a background in public relations, Duke wanted to get her publicity to share how to read the information on a tire.

“It was important enough for her to drive to 50 states. When she came to Nashville, she had already been to Memphis, and I don’t know why she found me. At this time in America, where things can be difficult, this was a good thing. I know it’s Him up above, and I know He sent her on this mission.”

Another person who received the tires was Mak Aguebor, from North Dakota. According to Aguebor, he met Hubner purely by chance.

“I have an old saying which is ‘coincidence is when God decides to be anonymous.’ I had finished going through radiation and other medical work and was picking up the pieces and dealing with the financial debacle.”

Aguebor’s wife had to work while he was undergoing treatment for his medical condition, and they were gifted a car after they lost their original one.

“Now the tires in the vehicle were really bad, and I thought, ‘Well, winter is coming. we need to do something about it. The tires were basically bald, but financially we were struggling to pull our cash together. As we were waiting for the next paycheck, the bishop of the church we go to called us and asked if we needed tires.”

The bishop then connected Aguebor with Hubner.

“It was so out of the blue, and I’d had a lot of things happen to me in life, but it had been a while since something super miraculous had happened in my life. We get there, and she bought me some tires.

“It really softened my heart. This really sidelined me. Imagine being hit by an emotional bus. It was really what I had been striving for prior to the radiation. My wife and I were top dogs financially and waiting to set up something where we could help people.”

Aguebor continued, “Here we are in a tough situation, and someone, out of the blue, does something I’ve been trying to get myself in the position to do. It was really an emotional experience.”

 

Tire Halo

On a tire, there exists on a rim close to the hubcap something Hubner referred to as “the tire halo.” On the halo, is imprinted the plant code, the tire size code, manufacturer identity number, and the week and year the tire was made.

Despite being on all tires, Hubner said it is a little-known fact, and such knowledge can tell a person when it is time to get the tires changed, and potentially save a life. 

“On my ‘Tire Mom’ logo, there is a halo made up of a gold ring and black ring. The gold part of the halo is meant to show that I’m a parent watching over others, but the black part of it represents the tire halo, and how looking at it can save a life.”

Date Published
October 21, 2019
Last Edited
October 21, 2019