Road debris nearly impales Valley driver on the Loop 101

TEMPE, AZ - One man feels fortunate to be alive after flying debris nearly killed him on the road.

Jack, who asked that we not use his last name, came close to dying while driving Wednesday.

“Probably about six inches, to the left and up. I would’ve lost my face or something,” he said. "I’m very lucky."

He was driving on the loop 101, near Guadalupe and Baseline, when he spotted something ahead.

“About 100 yards up, [something had] come off a car. Something flew up in the air...turned out to be a car seat,” Jack said.

Seconds later, it happened. 

“The piece of metal came right through the window,” he said. “It was just like a giant bang and the glass all shattered.”

The glass was in Jack's mouth and ears, but amazingly he was unscathed. 

“I looked over, and I see the piece of metal. It missed me by about six inches. I said wow, I better get off the road.”

Jack was shockingly calm.

“That’s what the DPS guy said too. He said most people that have this happen to them lose control of the car and end up having a much worse accident.”

Jack didn’t see exactly which car the debris came flying off of, but he does know it kept on driving.

“I bet whoever this came from has no idea that they almost killed somebody,” said Joey Poliszczuk, with District Tow. “I mean you see those ladders on the freeway all the time.”

Flying debris is a serious problem in the Valley.

“You don’t see that in the East Coast or Midwest,” said Poliszczuk.

“It’s carelessness I think, just carelessness,” said Jack.

Police can issue tickets. DPS has issued hundreds of citations and warnings in 2018. But Jack believes the importance is more about awareness of securing loads, which he hopes his story does.

FULL SECTION: Operation Safe Roads

“Double checking what you were doing, making sure it’s secure so that it’s not going to fly off the back of the car if you hit a bump.”

Jack and the DPS trooper are still not sure what nearly impaled him.

“Maybe a bicycle rack that went on the back of a car?” Jack said.

Either way, Jack said he is just happy he can still get behind the wheel.

“You could be here one minute then gone the next. So you got to enjoy every day.” 

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