Local News

Man Injured In Rock-Throwing Incident; Durham Police Look For Suspects

Posted March 14, 2001

— Highway accidents happen all the time. You can try to be a safe driver by not tailgating or driving the speed limit, but sometimes there is nothing you can do when someone tries to cause an accident.

Rakim Wynn was driving home from work late Tuesday night on Highway 70 East, about to cross under the Cheek Road overpass when someone heaved a rock over the side of the bridge.

It crashed through the windshield, hitting Wynn's arm, the back seat and the roof before coming to a stop.

"I just heard this boom, and I saw a flash of light. At first, I didn't know what it was," he says. "I thought my tire had gone flat or something. I didn't even see the hole at first."

Lt. Sarvis of the Durham Police Department says the rock probably came from a pile next to the overpass where construction is going on. He does not think this was child's play. Whoever did it will be charged with assault with a deadly weapon.

"We're very fortunate we're not investigating a murder here," he says. "No one's going to convince me they did not know the inherent danger of throwing a 40-pound rock that size off of a bridge."

"I guess God was with me that night. Basically, I didn't crash, and I didn't get killed. I just got a graze on the arm," Wynn says.

Durham Crimestoppers is asking anyone with information to call them at (919)683-1200.

Almost two years ago to the day, a rock changed a Canadian teenager's life forever. In March 1999,Michael Vytlingamsuffered permanent brain damage when a rock crashed through the windshield of his SUV.

Doctors say he can now walk and talk but will be disabled for life. Police arrested two teenagers almost a year later for throwing the rock from an I-95 overpass in Cumberland County.

A Chapel Hill woman also died in 1991 when a 60-pound boulder was dropped from a Durham freeway overpass.

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