By WBZ-TV Chief Correspondent Joe Shortsleeve

BOSTON (CBS) – It was a frightening morning commute for a Boston woman who could have been killed by a heavy piece of sharp metal which shot through her windshield on Route 93 in Wilmington.

Joe Shortsleeve spoke on the phone with the woman. He says she was pretty shook up. She didn’t know what hit her. But the state knows what happened. In fact the state has known about this problem for years.

It was during the morning rush hour when Massachusetts State Police tweeted pictures of the piece of safety equipment, known as a raised road reflector, lodged in a windshield. Technically they are designed to prevent accidents but for years has been a known hazard.

Tow truck driver Bob Toussaint talked with the driver at the scene this morning.

“Another couple of inches yeah it could have hit her in the face,” Toussaint says. “She was very shaken up.”

Here is the danger, these older style road reflectors embedded in the highways are attached to five pound pieces of metal and when they become loose or get hit by a snow plow they become a dangerous projectile.

Toussaint says, “She had no idea where it came from, she was just driving down the highway and it went right through the windshield. She had no idea where it came from or what it was.”

It was eight years ago this month when WBZ first reported on the danger posed by these reflectors. We told you about Patricia O’Brien of Illinois who was nearly killed.

At that time, the state said phasing them out would take 12 years. Today that is happening, in fact MassDot says, “The raised markers along this section of I-93 are scheduled for removal this summer as part of a $16 million resurfacing and roadway improvements project in Wilmington and Woburn.”

MassDot says they will be replaced with smoother, smaller plastic reflectors.

In the meantime, MassDot is taking action. They say they will be out in the coming days checking this section of roadway to make sure there are no more loose older reflectors.


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