Cops look for driver after debris flies from truck, shattering another vehicle's windshield on I-90

Victim is in a coma at Metro Health Medical Center
Posted at 1:34 PM, Sep 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-07 14:23:36-04

Police are looking for the public's help in identifying the driver of a red truck that lost part of its load on Interstate 90 Monday. 

Authorities say the debris ended up hitting the windshield of another car and injuring the driver, 72-year-old Jim Putman from Illinois.

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According to Avon police, the vehicle carrying vinyl fencing was headed eastbound on Interstate 90 near State Route 83 when a piece of the fencing broke and hit the windshield of a Jeep, driven by Putman. The vehicle at fault is described as either a white or off-white GMC or Chevy.

Putman's family said he had celebrated his great-granddaughter's birthday Sunday and, at 8:10 p.m. Monday, was driving his 27-year-old granddaughter to Boston for a new job.

While they were driving on I-90, the debris flew through the windshield and hit Putman in the head. 

"Glass was shattered and thrown everywhere and Jim was slumped over the steering wheel," said his sister-in-law Marion Craggs. "I grabbed a blanket and got it on his head. There was blood everywhere."

While the car was still moving down the highway, Putman was unconscious.

Craggs, and his granddaughter, Jamie, managed to pull him off the steering wheel and took his foot off the gas pedal to stop their Jeep. The truck kept going.

Officials say the driver of the truck is a white man in his 50s or 60s. They say he briefly stopped near Nagel Road to check his load, then continued driving eastbound on I-90 without checking on the driver.

His family said Putman is on life support at MetroHealth Medical Center with a severe brain injury.

Avon police are asking anyone who may have witnessed the crash or seen a red truck hauling vinyl fencing and can provide information to help identify the truck or driver. In addition, anyone who may know someone with a red truck who was transporting vinyl fencing on Monday is asked to contact police.

Witnesses to the accident and/or anyone with information can reach the Avon Police Department at 440-934-7635.