Inches — maybe less — separated a Vermont 1-year-old from tragedy on Wednesday.
The child was sitting in a car seat in the back of a Subaru in Colchester, Vermont, around 4:30 p.m. when the Subaru and the pickup behind it suddenly braked, according to a Vermont State Police news release. That sent a piece of unsecured metal rebar flying off the top of the Chevrolet truck and right into the back of the Subaru on Interstate 89, police said.
After the metal rebar penetrated the Subaru, it pierced the rear-facing car seat that was holding a baby on the passenger’s side, photos show.
“It did leave the trough in a rapid manner,” Lt. Robert Lucas said, explaining how the rebar was tossed from where it sat atop the pickup, according to NBC 5. “Fast enough to go through a headrest and penetrate a child’s seat.”
Luckily, the child was uninjured.
“It was a matter of inches, or even less than inches,” Vermont State Police spokesman Adam Silverman said, according to the Burlington Free Press. “It’s a testament to — knock on wood — good luck that this was not a terrible tragedy.”
To be sure, the child was taken to a nearby hospital, police said.
No one else was injured and both cars could operate normally following the incident, despite the rebar piercing the Subaru.
Christopher Larose, a 44-year-old from Swanton, Vermont, was driving the pickup. S.D. Ireland, the company Larose works for, was written a citation for failing to secure the load, police said. The fine is $134, NCB 5 reports.
The Free Press reports that S.D. Ireland issued a statement about the incident on Friday.
“All of us at S.D. Ireland are very thankful the family involved in the accident on Interstate 89 Wednesday evening were not hurt,” the statement said, according to the newspaper. “We are voluntarily suspending the use of the current rebar containment chutes so an evaluation and redesign can be accomplished. Our goal is to eliminate the possibility of an accident like this occurring ever again. Safety is and continues to be our #1 priority.”
Police said the roadway was heavily congested when the truck braked and dislodged the rebar. Two more crashes happened as a result of the first incident, which shut down one lane of the highway for about 30 minutes, police said.