Condition of driver hit by road concrete on 696 worsens
(WJBK) - Highway horror - a chunk of concrete flies up from the road - and through the windshield of an unsuspecting driver.
That woman is in critical condition while police and road crews are trying to find out what happened.
It left a huge hole in her windshield and the driver of the SUV in the hospital after a chunk of concrete smashed into it, appearing to come out of nowhere.
"There's nothing she could've done to prevent it," said Lt. Michael Shaw, Michigan State Police. "When something happens that fast, there's nothing to do."
Michigan State Police say the 42-year-old Grosse Pointe woman had been driving westbound on I-696 near Hoover in Warren when all of a sudden, a football-sized chunk of concrete hit her SUV.
"That piece of concrete went through the windshield and struck her in the head causing her to lose consciousness," Shaw said.
State police say at first, that woman's injuries did not appear to be life threatening but she's gotten worse and is now listed in critical condition.
"She suffered a lot of facial injuries because the concrete directly struck her in the face and side of her head," Shaw said.
And in turn that woman also lost control of her car and hit another car before coming to a stop. That other driver was not hurt.
Police at the scene realized the piece of concrete did not come from the bridge but from the road.
"It's actually from the freeway itself so it created a pothole when this concrete lifted off," Shaw said.
Road crews were patching the hole Wednesday as many ask how does something like this happen?
"Usually we hear about it from gravel trucks from other places," Shaw said. "This is the first one (we've heard of) an actual piece of the roadway."
Spokesperson for the Michigan Department of Transportation, Diane Cross says that it is simply decaying and crumbling infrastructure and a serious lack of funding.
Cross says MDOT crews are out regularly patching and resealing the concrete but that particular area of concrete isn't scheduled to be redone until 2020.
Meanwhile, state police handing over the chunk of concrete to MDOT so it can be analyzed.
"We're just hoping she makes a full recovery," Shaw said.