‘A miracle’: Woman alive after 2×4 flies off semi, smashes through windshield

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WHITELAND, Ind. (WXIN) — An Indiana driver had a close call Tuesday when a piece of unsecured wood fell off a passing semitrailer and pierced her windshield, missing her by inches.

“It’s like one of the movie’s “Final Destination”-type moments,” said Michael Pruitt, deputy chief of the Bargersville Fire Department.

Barbara Noble, the SUV driver hit by the 2×4, was on her normal drive to work when the accident happened.

“I was just driving on the Whiteland road. It’s very dark, it’s very narrow, there are no lights out there,” said Noble. “I thought, ‘Oh here comes a semi coming through pretty quickly, his lights are very bright.'”

“As soon as that semi was even with me, then it just went ‘bam,'” said Noble. “The 2×4 shot off his truck and just went through my windshield. I can’t even tell you how loud it was.”

“Next thing you know she was making friends with a 2×4 through her windshield,” said Pruitt.

CREDIT: Johnson County Sheriff’s Office

Noble said she checked her rearview mirror for any cars behind her, slowed down and pulled over to call police.

“The semi took off. I’m sure he probably didn’t know he almost killed someone with a 2×4,” said Noble. “I wasn’t following him. This wasn’t a case of following too closely and something slid, it was — it was going two different ways. It’s dangerous no matter how you look at it, very dangerous to not secure your loads”

“I just was covered in glass,” she said. “Every square centimeter was covered in glass from the dash to the cargo area.”

According to the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, a deputy located and stopped the semi and found 2×4 wood pieces in the back of the truck. A crash report states the driver told police he didn’t load the truck himself and also didn’t know he lost anything from the trailer.

The driver is not facing any charges. Aside from pieces of glass that Noble said got in her eyes from the impact, she walked away from the accident mostly unharmed.

“I’m so thankful and blessed that I walked away from it with, you know, very little injury,” she said. “It was a miracle, actually.”

Pruitt said it’s not uncommon for first responders to see accidents like this, but not all have as positive of an outcome.

“We don’t think about something coming off of that truck, and it could be something coming in the opposite direction,” he said. “We worry about the cars, and maybe colliding with the cars, and not necessarily the objects maybe on those cars.”

He said when crews are dispatched to an accident scene like this, where an object goes through the windshield of a vehicle, there’s nothing more relieving than finding out the driver and any passengers are OK.

“It’s always a much better situation when we see everybody’s out of the car and basically they’ve just been scared,” said Pruitt. “If we see the person out of the car, that’s a miracle.”

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