Pole crashes through SUV's windshield in Fla.
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (WHDH) -- Two people are lucky to be alive after a metal pole impaled the windshield of their vehicle, as they drove down Interstate 95.
The incident happened in the southbound lanes of the highway, near Stirling Road, at around 11:30 a.m., Tuesday. "Like a metal railing that may have pierced the windshield," said Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Mark Wysocky describing the object. "It looks like the metal rails of a pickup vent cover."
The metal rod, measuring close to six feet in length, flew through the windshield of a white Range Rover -- narrowly missing both the driver and passenger, who were identified as Sandy and Carlton Francis, respectively. Both walked out of the vehicle and rescue crews transported them to Memorial Regional Hospital as a precaution. "[The pole] came right in. Half of it was sticking out, half of it was in, so it could have cut us in half," Sandy said.
According to the FHP, the pole missed both occupants by about a foot. "They were extremely lucky that it didn't come straight at them," said Wysocky. "It was at enough of an angle that it came across the windshield, so they were extremely lucky."
"I braced myself, and I just hoped for the best," Carlton said, "When I got out of the car and looked at it, I cried. I cried ... My life flashed before my eyes."
The newlyweds were headed to the courthouse to complete some paperwork when the incident occurred. Sandy said, "I saw it for a split second."
Investigators are not sure where the pole came from. "The debris was already broken up across the southbound lanes," said Wysocky. "At some point, another vehicle drove over a piece of the debris. The debris flew up and entered the windshield, as you saw."
The couple was covered in glass, but their eyes were protected by the sunglasses they were wearing. Carlton said his wife calmly drove the SUV to the shoulder of the highway. "I'm definitely proud of her. Definitely," he said.
Wysocky said this should provide a lesson in close calls and how important that all drivers be aware of their surroundings while driving on the highway. "We've had other cases of road debris and people have been injured," he said. "It just shows you the importance of paying attention and look what's going on around you, even though this lady said that it was all of a sudden there, and there was nothing she could do."