Secure your load.
That’s the message the Arizona Department of Public Safety has for drivers after a truck driver in Phoenix failed to secure a load and a metal pole fell off, crashing into a sport utility vehicle behind the truck.
On Thursday, a pickup truck hauling a trailer hit a bump on Arizona State Route 51, causing a roughly 4-foot-long metal pole to come off the trailer. The pole ended up piercing the center of the windshield of a Nissan SUV directly behind it, according to a Facebook post.
The pole ended up lodged between the Nissan’s center back seat and the SUV’s roof.
The driver of the truck did not stop and has not been located, the department said. Mandy Poff, the woman driving the Nissan, was not injured, but she told CNN affiliate KPNX she’s terrified to get back in her car.
“I can picture it coming by my face and that feeling – that’s hard to get out of your head,” Poff said.
When the pole struck her windshield, just inches from her face, glass “showered down” on her.
“I remember the paramedics telling me, ‘I can’t believe you’re alive. I can’t believe you made it through this,’” Poff said.
The public safety department warned drivers need to secure their load no matter how short the drive or how heavy the items.
“Road debris poses a serious hazard to everyone on the road, from other motorists to the law enforcement and road maintenance crews that go out to retrieve it,” according to the department’s post. “No matter how short the drive or how heavy the items, please take the time to secure your load before every trip!”