PORTAGE COUNTY, Ohio — A terrifying moment on the Ohio Turnpike in Portage County was caught on a woman’s dash camera as a 6-foot-long wooden board fell off the vehicle in front of her and launched through her windshield — missing her by inches.
“Did you ever watch ‘Final Destination’? That's what it was like, something out of ‘Final Destination,’ the movie ‘Final Destination,’” said Kimberly Awada, comparing her frightening moment on the highway to the horror movie where the characters are pre-destined for a death they can’t escape.
Awada was driving on the turnpike on June 17 when a 6-foot-long, two-inch-by-eight-inch wood board fell off the pickup truck in front of her and went through her windshield, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Fortunately, neither Awada nor her passenger were injured.
Load securement is important for the safety of everyone on the road. Fortunately, no one in this vehicle was injured when a board came through the windshield! This incident occurred June 17 on I-80 in Portage County. The at-fault driver was unaware he had lost part of his load. pic.twitter.com/a8FdIiXfOU— OSHP_NEOhio (@OSHP_NEOhio) June 21, 2021
“Both of them are extremely lucky that they are alive and not injured, but we can't keep having these types of incidents where we keep getting lucky,” said Sgt. Ray Santiago with the OSHP.
State troopers caught up with the pickup truck; the driver told them he had no idea anything happened. Troopers helped him tie down the remaining lumber more securely and sent him on his way with a citation.
The maximum citation for an unsecured load violation is just $150.
Changes to the state's law on unsecured loads are gaining support after a 5 on Your Side Investigation revealed nearly 3,000 unsecured load violations contributing to almost 7,000 crashes over the last five years which resulted in six deaths and 715 injuries.
Currently in Ohio, unsecured loads are a minor misdemeanor with fines capped at $150 and no jail time—even if someone is seriously injured. Under the proposed House Bill 27, which now has the support of AAA Ohio, fines and penalties would increase from the current maximum of $150 to $500.