5 On Your Side

Ice flies off car, smashes woman's windshield

Posted January 25, 2016 7:01 p.m. EST
Updated January 25, 2016 7:02 p.m. EST

— Kayla Acklie was driving on Capital Boulevard in Wake Forest on Sunday when a chunk of ice broke loose from the back window of a passing car and hurtled toward her.

"It lifted off of his car and went flying through the air. It was completely airborne," Acklie said Monday. "I could see it turning in the air. It was a huge piece of ice. You couldn't miss it."

Unfortunately, she didn't. The flying ice smashed her windshield.

Two other drivers reported similar experiences on Monday. One driver was on Interstate 440 when a chunk of ice from another vehicle smashed a corner of the windshield, and another described "a 3X5 foot (solid) piece of ice" that flew off an SUV and hit her car. "Happy to be alive," she added.

All three drivers were able to pull over safely without anyone being hurt.

"If someone had just taken a little bit of extra time to get the ice off their car, we wouldn't be in this scenario right now," Acklie said.

Drivers can be fined in some states for not clearing snow or ice off their vehicles, North Carolina doesn't have any such laws.

"We kind of call it a common-sense law," said Lt. Jeff Gordon, spokesman for the North Carolina State Highway Patrol. "Just basically take the time, not only for yourself, but for other motorists that are out there."

Gordon said flying ice can create a domino effect of hazards on the road.

"The first thing people do is they panic. They lock up. They swerve," he said. "Anytime you have any debris in the road, that can cause head-on collisions, that can cause sideswiping of other vehicles."

Another driver got the tag number of the vehicle responsible for shattering Acklie's windshield, and the flying ice will likely end up as a civil matter between the two drivers and their insurance companies.

Employees of a nearby Food Lion covered Acklie's car with a tarp and allowed her to leave the car in the parking lot until the windshield is repaired.