A lunchtime ride in the family car on Interstate 15 in Utah to pick up tacos was abruptly interrupted Saturday when a whirling metal chair part crashed into the car’s windshield.
Neither the driver nor any of the four passengers from the Eaton family were seriously injured by the damaged glass or the metal chair base. The scary event was captured on a dash cam in the cabin, recording the view through the windshield when the metal struck the passenger side of the glass. Luckily the glass didn't shatter.
“I don’t even know where an office chair would’ve come from. It seems like maybe it’s heavy enough to stay in your truck bed, but definitely not because it was on the road,” said Lily Eaton, who was seated in the rear between her 3-year-old sister, Charlotte, and her partner. Lily’s mother Lea was driving, and her older sister, Anabella, was in the passenger seat.
“We could see it looked like a rock, something flying toward us,” Lily said. “We’re like, ‘Oh, that’s weird, oh! that’s going to hit us!.’”
Lily called 911 and checked that the passengers were OK. The Eatons said that Anabella had cuts across her legs from the glass. “It was kind of the luckiest unlucky thing because it [the chair] didn’t go through the windshield,” Lily said. “We’re just really grateful everyone is alive and well.”
The car’s glass — the car's make wasn’t identified — is being repaired. As a safety precaution, windshields must be shatterproof to prevent any sharp fragments of glass from harming the passengers. Generally the glass is either tempered or laminated.
Lily said that the chair base had apparently fallen off of a vehicle and was lying in the road two lanes over from the lane in which the family was traveling.
“It was the bottom of an office chair, just the metal parts. It didn’t have any of the wheels,” she said. When another car struck the piece, “it spat out from under their tire, it went over the car next to us, and onto our windshield.”
We've carried many of these PSA stories over the years — an ax that flew through a windshield and nearly killed the driver, a steel beam, yet another ax, a sheet of plywood turned guillotine, and many more. It's a message that bears repeating:
Secure your load.