Man narrowly missed by steel rod that flew through windshield on I-4
TAMPA (FOX 13) - The sound of shattering glass and wind blowing through the windshield at 70 miles per hour is all Tommy Robinson remembers from the moment a steel bar crashed into his Chevy Tahoe.
Robinson was driving westbound on Interstate 4 early Thursday morning when it happened.
“I think the bar came just like this and hit, as you can see where this hit, and it caught the windshield after it hit the hood. And after it did that, this part turned and went through the windshield and onto the dash," he said.
He credits the windshield wipers with taking the brunt of the force.
“I think it was coming at me parallel with the windshield and hit the wiper, and I think that stopped the motion of it from coming through the windshield,” he continued.
Wednesday morning, a 66-year-old woman was critically injured after a piece of metal flew through her window while she drove on the Howard Frankland.
The Florida Department of Transportation says road debris and unsecured loads is a huge problem. In 2016, crews removed 180 tons of debris from Florida highways, and 2017 brought increasing numbers.
Robinson says he sees debris often.
“A lot of tires and stuff like that," he said. "Not a lot of steel. A lot of ladders; you see ladders on I-4.”
His message to drivers? Stay vigilant.
"Watch where you’re going," he advised. "Don’t tailgate. That’s the worst thing. I was seven to 10 cars behind the car in front of me, and it still came up that high to hit the windshield."
Florida Highway Patrol reminds drivers to leave one car length in front for every 10 miles of speed.
It’s state law to secure loads while driving, and failing to do so is a moving violation.
If you see debris on the road when you’re driving, you can call *FHP.