Driver feels lucky to be alive

Andrew Robinson
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Steel object flies toward windshield, impales bumper

There was so much water spraying from the rear tires of a flatbed truck ahead of Anne Hatcher’s vehicle on the Outer Ring Road, she decided to pull into the passing lane to improve her visibility.

Anne Hatcher was unaware this steel object she swerved to avoid hitting her car’s windshield Monday managed to pierce the bumper of her vehicle. — Submitted Photo

“You can get trapped in a rut and it’s very dangerous,” she said. “There was a lot of water coming off of this particular vehicle.”

Hatcher may have been better off staying in the right lane.

“As I pulled over into the lane, he was a little bit further ahead of me — probably 100 feet or so — I noticed this object come up off

of the flatbed of the truck and

then start going end-over-end towards my windshield. I slammed on my brakes.”

Fortunately, the flying object did not strike the windshield of her car.

“I was seconds and feet from a totally different story,” Hatcher told The Telegram. “I just saw the object out of my right peripheral vision. Had I not, I wouldn’t be here having this conversation.”

Feeling lucky to be alive at that point, Hatcher continued to make her way home. It was not until after she pulled into her driveway that Hatcher noticed a three-foot-long steel object — believed to be a ratchet — impaled on the front of her car.

“I assumed it had bounced away.”

Hatcher spoke with police Monday evening. She did make note of the truck’s licence plate number — Hatcher assumes it’s a commercial vehicle —  and hopes the other party will in some way be held accountable. There’s visible damage to her car’s bumper, hood and a side panel and headlight, and though Hatcher managed to make it home Monday, she’s unsure whether the steel object caused any mechanical damage.

I just saw the object out of my right peripheral vision. Had I not, I wouldn’t be here having this conversation Anne Hatcher

Hatcher uses the Outer Ring Road daily to get to and from work, and has witnessed other incidents that leave her wary of such vehicles.

“They always tend to have something flying off of them,” she said. “I just try to avoid being around them anyway.”

The following day, Hatcher elected not to use the Outer Ring Road.

“As a driver  going back and forth to work, it’s frightening. With the ruts in the road, you’re trying to find a way to drive as safely as you can, but there’s no way you can prepare yourself for vehicle owners or drivers not properly preparing their work vehicles.”

Organizations: The Telegram

Geographic location: Outer Ring Road

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Recent comments

  • mainlander
    May 30, 2014 - 23:02

    Honestly I totally agree with the driver, I myself had to replace a windshield recently from a dump truck.. The roads here are absolutely ridiculous I have never seen such horrible roads!!! However I have to say that many of the drivers driving these roads should be put in Toronto for a couple days and only the ones that survive will come back. These roads are considered to be big high traffic (100/kms an hr) but yet there is still industry that don't secure their load? There is still kids going on this road with no training? there is nan and pop who think the road is a secondary highway? then you have the ones who think they know what they are doing by being so far up my ass that they might not survive if I slam on the brake! Really there needs to be a mandate on training for all young and old drivers for sure but even those who have almost killed somebody!! and or who have any kind of ticket violations. A lot of people will claim that they know how to drive this highway but I truly believe that less then 50% do! I speed to get away from them and yes I will have a lot to say to a cop that stops me! Either way have a safe and happy weekend!!!

  • nik
    May 28, 2014 - 13:02

    Thank god this driver is safe

  • Anna
    May 28, 2014 - 12:19

    The Provincial Government is clearly not looking after this road. There is a huge pot hole just before the entrance to Stavanger Drive and it is hazardous. Surely there has to be one MHA using this road would could see this danger and have this pothole taken care off. It has been there since April and getting bigger every day, a plyon is not going to fix this problem. It seems our government is so out of touch with what people want, we never hear from any of the MHAS unless they are on open line singing their own praises, they don't (not allowed) to have an opinion on anything and it is getting worse all the time. I'm glad you weren't hurt Ms. Hatcher but between the ruts on this road and flying debris it is a wonder there are not more accidents.

  • No Po
    May 28, 2014 - 11:40

    In most parts of North America an unsecure load is a fine and if you cause bodily hard via that unsecure load it's a criminal charge. That doesn't apply in Newfoundland. The island has the worst drivers in the world and the only thing the police car about is speeding tickets to inflate their salaries. They'd have to actually do work to figure this out, so I doubt this will get solved any time soon.

  • Mark Mywords
    May 28, 2014 - 11:21

    Mark my words; there will be tragedies on the ORR; it's unavoidable with deep ruts, speeding cars, texting and the like; not to mention the daily dump-truck races and Newfie Nascar try-outs.

  • Jocko
    May 28, 2014 - 10:20

    It is not a ratchet. It's a winch handle used to tighten the straps of loads on big trucks. The end has a smaller diameter piece of rod to fit in the hone on the winch. Seems like this driver forgot to store it in the cab and left it on the flatbed to become a missile.

  • RATTER 01
    May 28, 2014 - 09:46


    • Goldie
      May 28, 2014 - 19:55

      Driving too close ?? Really ??? Where does the RESPONSIBILITY of the DRIVER of the FLATBED truck lay in your opinion in that case ? It was in NO WAY her fault !!

  • Roy Critch
    May 28, 2014 - 06:37

    This has happened too many times on that road. It is an obstacle course on the best of days but on wet days with spray coming from big vehicles you can't see the debris on the road and you hit it and do damage. There are too many unsecured loads there. Where's the fines?