Local News

Six Overpass Attacks on Vehicles in Durham, No One Injured

Posted March 25, 1999

— Someone who likes to throw rocks at cars and trucks is targeting drivers in Durham. Six vehicles were hit in 45 minutes Friday night on the Durham Freeway. Windshields were damaged, but no one was injured.

Most people probably do not think about it as they are driving along the highway. But, there is a chance that someone could throw a rock off of an overpass and hit a car.

"Boom! That's exactly what it sounded like, and it hit with a loud impact," said truck driver Marvin McCaden.

McCaden was driving along the Durham Freeway Thursday night. When he passed under the railroad crossing nearDuke University Medical Center, a rock slammed into his passenger door. The damage does not look that bad, but it could have been much worse.

"About 12 inches higher. If it came through that window, that window doesn't shatter like a windshield. That window would actually just break like a house pane, and I'm sure I would have been hurt," said McCaden.

Durham police think the situation is serious. They showed WRAL reports of six drivers, all hit in the same area, within 45 minutes, most likely with rocks like the ones that cover the railroad overpass.

"I really feel this is some young people who have too much time on their hands and, evidently, not enough supervision, and if they need to occupy their time, we'll occupy their time," said Cpl. Fran Borden.

"It's a serious situation and we need to get whoever is responsible out of the picture, because we don't need that kind of problem here in Durham," said McCaden.

Theteenaged driver hit by a 30-pound rock thrown from an overpass on I-95is still in the hospital.

Earlier this month 18-year-old Michael Vytlingam was driving home to Canada when the rock hit his car in Cumberland County.

He is still listed in critical condition. Vytlingam's father, who was riding in the passenger seat, was not injured. Investigators have not caught the person, or persons, responsible.


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