BOSTON (CBS) – Melissa Gillepsie was still shaken Thursday night after a wooden beam narrowly missed her driver’s seat and landed on the rear of her car.
“Seconds were the difference between life and death for me,” said Gillespie.
She was driving to work in her Volkswagen on the lower deck of I-93 heading into Boston.
“Something came out of the sky and smashed through the back of my car,” Gillespie said.
That piece of wood fell from the upper deck of I-93 and was part of ongoing repair work. They’re working on the drainage system up above, but something went wrong when wood used to prevent debris from falling, fell itself.
Crews have been replacing the highway drainage troughs using the wood as shielding. But one piece popped out Thursday morning.
While they’re not sure why, here’s the working theory. “It could very well be it was the heavy rainfall and runoff contributed to that wood coming loose,” says Frank DePaola, the acting Secretary of MassDOT. “No one should be concerned. I look at this as a very rare event. Our crews have been out here and will be out there tonight, and will remove that wood shielding, and any that needs to remain to finish the work will be secured,” he says.
While MassDOT says no one was hurt, it’s a frightening accident for thousands of commuters, and we’ve seen items fall onto highways before. But DePaola says the department is vigilant. “We have crews out there on a nightly basis looking at the highways, especially in the metro Boston area, making sure they’re safe,” he says.
MassDOT says the repair work is almost done, and the remaining pieces of wood should be removed within a week.
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