CEDAR CITY – A St. George driver traveling south on Interstate 15 was almost killed Thursday when a huge metal hook flew off a semitrailer, crashing through the front windshield on the driver’s side and just stopping short of going all the way through the glass because of the tinting film on the window.
The clevis grab hook weighed nearly two pounds, said Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Clay Allred.
“He was very, very lucky,” Allred said. “If that hook had gone all the way through that window we would have probably been responding to a fatality.”
The incident occurred around milepost 54, about three miles south of Cedar City. A clevis grab hook is commonly used to attach an object to the end of a transport chain.
The hook shattered the corner of the windshield, Allred said, causing some glass to fly into the driver’s eyes. However, he refused medical attention and drove the rest of the way home.
The driver could not identify the semitrailer where the hook came from so police did not issue any citations.
Troopers have responded to more than 11,000 calls for debris on the roadways this year, said UHP Lt. Todd Royce.
Reports from the Utah Department of Transportation also show debris on the roads leads to more than 700 accidents a year.
Both the UHP and UDOT run yearly educational campaigns to try to educate the public about making sure their vehicles are free of loose debris and securing trailer loads to ensure nothing falls off.
“It’s a big thing,” UHP Lt. Steve Esplin said. “Having debris fall off vehicles and trailers and semis onto the road is so dangerous, but especially on the Interstate where people are driving 80 to 85 miles per hour. It can cause fatalities and severe injuries.”
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