CBS12 Investigates: Road debris killing and injuring drivers

We've all had it happen; driving along, and in an instant, you swerve to avoid debris in the road.

That sudden maneuver causes accidents, and consequently, deaths and injuries in astounding numbers every year across the nation.

In the last four years, there have been more than 200,000 crashes because of road debris across the country.

In our video above, you can see a yellow roll on the back of a boat suddenly come loose and directly fall into the path of a motorcyclist.

The man survived.

But, hundreds of times a day similar scenarios play out on roads across America with no warning and almost no reaction time.


All Holden Amory remembers is the sound after an 18-wheeler kicked up a 20-pound piece of scrap metal.

It pierced his windshield striking him in the face while he was driving along I-95 in southern Palm Beach County.

"If it hit me any higher, I’d be blind and brain dead. If it hit me any lower, I would have been decapitated," the 22 year-old said.

-See Holden’s full interview above.


Tools, tires, even a backyard grill were found on our country's roadways.

In Pennsylvania, an industrial wire spool fell off a truck, jumped the barrier, and rolled into oncoming traffic.

In Minneapolis, a 28-pound trailer hitch, traveling at freeway speed, came terrifyingly close to killing a driver.

In Virginia, a pitchfork pierced the windshield of a pick-up truck. Luckily, the driver was not injured.

A few months ago, a boat came off its trailer in the middle of a busy interstate.

And, 44-year old Tina Catron died after a log came loose on a passing truck and crashed through her windshield.

She was the mother of 6 children. Her five-year-old in the backseat survived.


According to the latest AAA study, between 2011-2014, there were more than 39,000 injuries and 500 deaths caused by road debris crashes.

And 40 percent of drivers killed in road debris accidents are trying to veer around something that suddenly comes at them.

John Townsend with AAA said accidents occur because people do not properly secure their loads.

“They're being reckless. They're being careless and being deadly and dangerous," he said.

He said more than one-third of road debris crashes happen between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. when people are hauling or moving heavy items.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off