Derby teen shaken after board slams through windshield

An 18-year-old from Derby was not injured when a 2x4 somehow fell from a truck and impales her...
An 18-year-old from Derby was not injured when a 2x4 somehow fell from a truck and impales her jeep's windshield.(Michelle Covey)
Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 11:55 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - An 18-year-old in Derby had a close call Tuesday afternoon when a board somehow fell off of a truck and impaled her Jeep’s windshield. The teen said she was driving home from school on K-15 when a small car in front of her Jeep swerved. She also swerved and said the next thing she knew; there was a piece of wood in her windshield.

The teen said she never saw the truck carrying the wood. The 18-year-old’s mother shared the photo on social media and said her daughter “is shaken up but physically OK.” She said another motorist stopped to check on her daughter after witnessing the freak accident.

That motorist, Michael Jones, said he was on his way to work Tuesday afternoon when he turned around to help the 18-year-old. He said he saw her Jeep as it was stopping on the side of the road.

“She was pretty stressed out, so I tried to calm her down,” Jones said. “I drive a Hummer, so I started talking to her about the fight we have between Jeeps and Hummers, trying to calm her down, just to get her mind off of it.”

He said the 2x4 “was stuck a good 12, 13 inches into her vehicle.”

“It went right through her rearview mirror, which in a Jeep, isn’t far from your head,” Jones said.

He stayed with the teen until police and family arrived.

Incidents like this point out the potential dangers of people not properly storing cargo. Kansas law requires drivers to have their cargo secured to their vehicles or trailers before hitting the road, and the U.S. Department of Transportation sets out specific securement requirements and rules for commercial vehicles.

AAA’s Foundation of Traffic Safety researched this issue and found yearly road debris causes more than 200,000 crashes. Items falling out of vehicles, including unsecured loads, account for about two-thirds of those crashes.

“I see a lot. I’ve had my windshield cracked because of stuff coming out,” Jones said. “It’s dangerous and it’s highly important. You need to secure your load.”

After what happened Tuesday afternoon on K-15, Jones said he wishes more people would have stopped to check on the teen instead of slowing down to take photos. He said the 18-year-old was the real hero for how she handled the traumatic situation.

“She did an outstanding of getting her vehicle off the road and getting it under control. I mean, you could just imagine something smashing in your windshield when you’re doing 55 miles per hour. It’s not even something you can see coming. It’s just happens so fast. She did a really good job, and then afterward, she kept her composure,” Jones said. “She was stressed, you could see. You could see the stress in her, but she kept her composure and did really well.”