It's been a few decades since, but your story reminds me of blowing a trailer tire on a semi back when I was driving. That tire wrapped around, took out all of the tail lights on one side of the trailer, wrapped up and put a dent in the back door, and bent the axle stabilizer arm. None of those pieces were light duty, and I don't think I could have dented the back door with a sledge hammer in a half an hour like that tire did in an instant.
Plastic, metal, doesn't matter. When they go, they do damage. I've had them go on front drive axle of the tractor, and the quarter fender gets torn right off the truck. Thank goodness they make them better now than they did 25 years ago.