So, that also happened to me, a couple of years ago, in a 2004 Jaguar XJ Vanden Plas. I replaced all four air struts, and noticed the lug nuts on the front left wheel were hard to fit properly. (I also did not use a torque wrench).
I heard something slapping around a couple of days later, but did not connect it to those odd-fitting lug nuts.
That afternoon, I went to make a left turn, and felt the front left corner of the car hit the ground, as I watched my wheel fly past me and land on a grassy hillside, on the opposite side of the road. The studs had very suddenly sheared off, due to the improper lug nuts and torque settings.
I ended up replacing the fender, wheel liner, rotor and hub. All four wheels also got brand-new OEM lug nuts (expensive at $7.50 apiece). Thankfully, it did not damage the air strut. I also learned that the X350 XJ is much more resilient than people gave it credit for, and to use a torque wrench.
Coincidentally, I was also 26 at the time.
Stationed at Langley I got lucky & had a late night date. On the ride back to the flightline early the next morning in my1970 SS396 Chevelle 4 speed (500$ in 1977!) I pull up to a 4 way intersection & have a laugh as I see a tire & wheel going down the street. My lite turns green & bang , I realize its mine! That was the last Cragar SS unilug for me. Its been Torque thrusts ever since !
Similar thing happened to a buddy many years ago. He was driving his '67 Firebird 400 from Atlanta to Daytona. Right rear drops and starts dragging. He see his RR wheel/tire go past him, with the axle still attached. Ruined an otherwise perfectly good trip to Daytona.
I am guilty of replacing brake pads on a '71 Celica and hearing the washboard banging as I left for work the next day. Forgot to tighten on both sides.
I didn't have a wheel come off. But when we took my wife's Fiesta to IL to visit Dad after getting new tires put on it, all but one of the plastic factory "wheel covers" were mysteriously gone. I can imagine the people around us in say, downtown Atlanta or Nashville, watching a wheel cover fly off at highway speeds in those areas. She got a nice set of aluminum wheels for her birthday out of that one.
I didn't even notice if they were there or gone at the one fuel stop I have to make. I would say it all happened somewhere between North TN and IL.
i was working on used car at the dealership i was employed at and would stop to work on customers cars as needed,they started bugging me for the used car so i said take it,had ran lug nuts up but mot torqued them,about 15 min later got a call wheel came off,took floor jack but couldnt find wheel it was about a block down the street in someones yard.it only happened once to me but it was emough