No, not a figurative way of describing a bad situation.
Jimmy's foot was actually caught under the tire as he was getting in a car on Sunday. I was in the car and the car started moving, while Jimmy was still half-in. He shouted "Stop!" and when the driver stopped, I was expecting Jimmy to quickly get in. Nobody knew his foot was under the tire, cos his expression and voice were pretty calm.
It was when he asked the driver to reverse that we realised that something was wrong. Gosh, imagine, half in a car, and your foot being run over by the car. He wasn't permanently injured, but pretty shell-shocked the rest of the day. If driver had pressed accelerator he'd at least have twisted his foot. (Probably wouldn't have been torn off!)