The tire came off of the front side. Could it be the ball joint?
The wheel coming off is one of those things that should never happen. If the wheel came off by itself with no other parts attached to it, loose lug nuts or snapped wheel studs are to blame. This only happens when they are not tightened properly.
You have an upper, and lower ball joint; if one of them broke, the wheel would still be attached to the knuckle through the wheel bearing. It would not be supported, and un-drivable, but attached. If the wheel bearing suffered total failure, the wheel could come off completely, but the hub would still be attached to the wheel. In any case, the issue will need to be inspected. I recommend having a certified technician, such as one from YourMechanic, come out to your home or office to inspect your tires and suspension system, and recommend the best path to repair.
Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.
Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%