SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah — What would you do in this situation? Imagine just driving along with the flow of traffic on the way home from work, when BAM! You windshield is shattered, and you come face-to-face with a large piece of metal.
That's what happened to Wylan Moon on Wednesday, as he drove north on I-215 north of the 700 North exit. He said the driver in front of him swerved. Utah Highway Patrol said another car hit the piece of metal, launching into Moon's windshield on the driver side.
"All of sudden it was in the windshield, and yeah, I was freaking out for sure," Moon recounted.
Pictures from UHP show the hunk of mysterious metal lodged in the windshield. The bottom part is resting on the dash, while the top part hovers above the steering wheel.
"It was like a half inch piece of steel," said Moon, describing what nearly hit him in the face. "I don't know what it came off of."
The fact that no one knows how this piece of metal ended up on the highway is a problem, UHP indicated. Someone's carelessness could have killed Moon.
Corporal Tara Wahlberg explained that they typically respond to more roadway debris calls in the summer, when people are moving or doing more yard work and have unsecured loads.
"We respond to debris calls every day," Cpl. Wahlberg said. "It's an average for the whole state of 76 debris calls."
That's nearly 80 chances a day for potentially dangerous or fatal accidents, should a car or motorcycle hit that debris the wrong way.
That's why Cpl. Wahlberg stressed the importance of securing your load before you take off. If something should happen on the roadway, she explained that the driver of the vehicle the debris came from is responsible for all damage and injuries.
"It’s important to cover your loads as well as secure them," Cpl. Wahlberg said. "You never know what is potentially going to fly out-- no matter how heavy you think it is-- you know, something could get knocked loose."
The UHP corporal happened to come upon Moon right after he took the metal to the windshield. She said cars were slowing down, and Moon was parked on the shoulder with hazards on.
"He was as cool as a cucumber," Cpl. Wahlberg recounted. "Just, he knew exactly what to do in that situation."
'Cool as a cucumber' may not be what comes to mind for Moon when he looks back on what happened.
"I took a couple deep breaths, I said a little thank you prayer. I was lucky to be there, that's for sure," he remembered. "That was the first going through my head, that could have ended it right there."
Anyone who comes across debris in the roadway should call 911 immediately. Cpl. Wahlberg said it is considered an emergency situation, and UHP will respond quickly to remove the debris before anyone is hurt.