Concrete Falls From Construction Site Onto Car

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCWashington.com

    A driver said she barely escaped injury when debris fell from an overpass and created a crater in the hood of her SUV.

    Theresa Ameri said a big chunk of concrete and asphalt fell onto the hood of her Honda CR-V Wednesday night on Interstate 495 near the Little River Turnpike overpass. She said she heard a "boom" and her SUV shook. 

    Construction Debris a Danger on Highways

    [DC] Construction Debris a Danger on Highways
    Wednesday's incident wasn't the only time recently a vehicle was struck by construction debris. (Published Friday, Jun 25, 2010)

    "I looked at my windshield and there were these huge chunks of asphalt, concrete ... just big pieces that fell onto my car,” said Ameri, who was not hurt.

    "One was a round, ball-shape type piece, and there was a triangle piece that was about six inches on each side," Ameri said.

    Car Damaged by Falling Construction Debris

    [DC] Car Damaged by Falling Construction Debris
    A woman was not hurt when construction debris fell onto her car. (Published Thursday, Jun 24, 2010)

    The Virginia Department of Transportation said workers were demolishing the bridge above I-495 at the time of the incident, which is under investigation.  Engineers are trying to determine where the debris came from.

    VDOT said it shuts down two to three lanes near where demolition work is happening and uses tractor-trailers as shields to help deflect any flying debris. But officials will investigate to see what went wrong and how it can be fixed for the future.

    Ameri said she was lucky not to be injured and hopes a thorough investigation is done to make sure it doesn't happen again -- with more tragic consequences.

    Steve Koback contacted News4 after hearing about Ameri's experience. Something similar happened to two of Koback's employees while they were driving a company truck down Route 29 in Silver Spring, Md., last Saturday, June 19.

    Construction debris from an Intercounty Connector overpass fell and hit their windshield. "It scared the life out of my guys," Koback said.

    After Koback arrived at the scene, he became worried that the construction crew didn't seem concerned. "...The foreman came and said, 'Well, the honchos are coming Monday; why don't you come back then?' ...And I said, 'Well, don't you want to talk to the guy on the bridge, and you know, keep more concrete from falling?'

    An Intercounty Connector spokesperson said they are prepared to pay for the damage to Koback's property.

    But Koback is concerned whether the current road construction boom is leading crews to cut corners. "If it had smashed their windshield, it would have been really bad," he said.