As Dave Lombardi was merging onto I-15, a piece of ice fell off the top of a semi truck. The ice crashed through his windshield and slammed into his face. Lombardi reported to Fox 13 News, “It’s like it was in slow motion, and I didn’t know what to do . . . Then I glanced over one more time just as a sheet of ice was flying off the top of the truck.” According to Lombardi, the slab of ice was two feet by three feet long. It sent shards of ice and glass into his face as it came through the window. As blood trickled down his face, he had to navigate his way to the shoulder of the freeway to deal with the incident.
Lieutenant Todd Royce of the Utah Highway Patrol is uncertain about the ability to charge a semi driver for that. “Could we charge a driver for that? Yes, we could. Would it stick in court? Maybe, maybe not.” All drivers are responsible for whatever may fly off their vehicle. The victim, Lombardi, said in the Fox 13 article, “I thought maybe the driver should have been a little more meticulous about cleaning the top of his truck before he took off.” However, many trucking companies will not allow their drivers to get on the roof of their trucks due to the risks involved.
Lombardi just wants to find the truck driver. He says that he is not upset but would like to get the driver’s insurance information. Lombardi’s insurance will not cover the cost of the new windshield and the CAT scan at the hospital.
Dave Lombardi’s experience is not necessarily unique. With lower temperatures and snow storms, there is more ice that builds up on cars and trucks. As cars take to the freeway, ice can become dislodged and fall onto the road. Larger pieces of ice can become hazardous for commuters while traveling at higher speeds.
To prevent something like this from happening, all drivers need to take the extra time before their drive to scrape ice from their vehicles, especially if there are more substantial ice chunks on top of the car. Auto experts recommend allowing your vehicle to warm up before you drive, even if it is just 30 seconds. This extra time can be spent getting your car ready to drive, scraping windshields, pulling ice off the top, etc. Incorporating this practice into your driving routine will help prevent any possible accidents and problems with people on the road.
If you are caught in a situation similar to Dave Lombardi’s, you have a few options. If at all possible, try to get a license plate number. This action might require you pull over to a safe location to make a note of it. Never take a picture of the plate while driving or attempt to make the record while driving. This tip applies only if you can do so safely. Making a note while driving is not safe. With Lombardi’s case, he had to pull over to remove blood from his face. His situation did not leave him in a position where he could jot down a license plate number. If it is a semi who was the offender in the incident and you are unable to record the information, try to remember the commercial company who owns the truck. Usually, commercial semis will have a logo with the name of the company on the side of the truck. If it is a car, try to remember the make and model of the vehicle (in this case, it will probably be treated similarly to a hit and run incident).
As always, if you have been the victim of someone’s negligence, contact The Advocates Law Firm. We will be able to help you with the questions you might have about your accident.