The last thing we expect while driving down the highway, is a golf ball or a rock smashing into our windshield. But, lately, it's happening on I-25 more and more frequently, putting drivers in danger.
According to the Pueblo Police Department, at least three reports of such occurrences were made last week. Tuesday night, two more incidents occurred according to Rachelle Salinas, one of the victims.
Salinas was traveling south on I-25 around midnight. She was on her way to pick her boyfriend up from work when she was targeted, shattering what would have been a calm, pleasant night.
As Salinas was approaching the Highway 50 bypass, she noticed two or three young people on the western side of the highway. Salinas says, at first she thought they were trying to cross the highway, but as she turned her focus back to the road in front of her she saw two white objects flying at her windshield. "The next thing I know, I just hear this loud sound," says Salinas.
One of the two golf balls struck her windshield near its base, leaving behind circular cracks, the other bounced under her car and ricocheted around in her undercarriage. "I was terrified. I could hear the crackling of the windshield still breaking. I thought that it was going to crash on me; just completely break into pieces. I didn't know what to do," says Salinas.
Realizing she had left her cellphone at home, Salinas kept driving. Once she arrived at her boyfriend's work, they called the police. That's when they learned, she wasn't the only victim that night. "He let me know that it actually happened just 20 minutes before then, to a semi, but actually both golf balls actually went through the windshield," says Salinas.
Pueblo Police are concerned about these reports, and have instructed patrol units to keep watch for suspicious activity. Deputy Chief Andrew McLachlan says, gambling with people's lives is not laughing matter. "If they hit a car, distracted it, and someone died in an accident, criminally negligent homicide or manslaughter charges. This is an extremely dangerous action," says McLachlan.
Meanwhile, Salinas just wants other drivers to be alert on the road. "This has happened several times before in the exact same area, so really keep an eye out when you're going out there day or night, you never know when they're going to strike," says Salinas.
Police say if this happens to you, it may happen so fast you don't have time to react. If you do react though, be sure not to jerk the steering wheel, as this can lead to loss of control of your vehicle. Salinas says, she did jerk her steering wheel and was lucky there was no one in the lane next to her and that she didn't lose control.