Flying ice on I-80 destroys windshield

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Photo courtesy Madison Qualls.

PARK CITY, Utah — A woman who was commuting to work in Salt Lake City experienced firsthand what can happen when other drivers don’t clear snow and ice from their vehicles before hitting the road.

Madison Qualls was driving on Interstate 80 in Parley’s Canyon Monday morning when a piece of ice hit and shattered the windshield of her car.

“I still have the image of it, like flying,” Qualls said. “It wasn’t until after it hit my windshield that I went, ‘oh, that’s ice.’”

Despite losing her ability to see out of her windshield, Qualls didn’t panic and managed to get to the shoulder of the road.

“I basically gave up on my windshield and drove watching my rear view mirrors until I was able to get out of the way,” Qualls said.

The driver of the truck where the ice came from didn’t stop. Utah Highway Patrol sees this type of incident every year when winter weather strikes.

“It’s 100 percent preventable,” said UHP Sgt. Nick Swallow. “It happens more than you think.”

Swallow said drivers who cause an accident like this because they fail to clear snow and ice from their car are at fault. However, they rarely stop to be held accountable.

“It’s your car,” Swallow said. “It’s your responsibility. You need to make sure your car is cleared off before you hit the roadway.”

Qualls is thankful no one else was in her car and credits a rush of adrenaline for helping her avoid a crash.

“I thankfully didn’t swerve, I just slowed down,” Qualls said. “I got lucky, and rule number one, don’t panic.”

After the terrifying ordeal, Qualls repaired her windshield. She is back on the road with only a few cuts and scratches on her hands

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