MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The phrase “keep your eyes on the road” has never meant more to Angela Mackenthun than it does now.
“Anything, a bird now that I see come close to my car, I flinch — it’s crazy,” she said.
That reaction is thanks to a life-changing drive north on I-494 near Maple Grove several days earlier. Mackenthun, of Chaska, said she was on her way to an appointment when she saw what she thought was a piece of cardboard flapping in the wind up ahead.
“And then, all of a sudden, it’s coming right in front of me, and I can see that it’s not cardboard,” she said.
It was, in fact, a piece of scrap metal that she said fell off a truck and bounced on the pavement before smashing into her windshield.
“Glass everywhere, in my mouth, in my ears — it was crazy,” she said.
Mackenthun said she slowed down as the metal was flinging toward her Jeep. Once it her car she started to pull over. A driver behind her pulled over as well and helped her out of her seat. She said the driver of the truck where the metal came from never stopped.
Mackenthun fears the metal would have killed her had it not stopped at the steering wheel. She also feels she’s alive because she was watching the traffic ahead.
“If I wouldn’t have been paying attention and been able to pull over and slam my brakes, I mean who knows how far that metal would have went through my vehicle,” she said.
That’s why she’s warning drivers to put their phones down and keep their eyes up. She also has a message for anyone hauling a load.
“All these people that are traveling, whether it’s a boat, whether they just have a mini trailer on the back, make sure your stuff is secure because anything could happen,” she said.
Minnesota State Patrol posted on Facebook about the incident, stating that drivers hauling loads need to keep them secure with either ratchet or toe straps.
Mackenthun said the repair shop kept the scrap metal for her. She said she might hang it in her garage as a reminder to always practice safe driving habits.