Family Narrowly Escapes Head-on Collision with Flying Bolt on Highway 97

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Undoubtedly, a Sunday drive took a terrifying turn for Zantaya Hutchinson, her husband, and their one-year-old daughter. Traveling along Highway 97 on their journey home to Prince George from Williams Lake, they were jolted by a foreign object suddenly breaking through their windshield.

Something caught their eye as it sailed toward their vehicle. Believing it to be a mere rock, Hutchinson reacted quickly, stepping on the brakes. Pulling over to the safety of the road’s shoulder, she discovered she was sprinkled with fragments of shattered glass. An unnerving find in the backseat was a large, hefty metal bolt nestled next to their daughter’s rear-facing car seat. Despite the close call, the infant remained unscathed.

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The potential gravity of the situation struck Hutchinson harder when her husband voiced his concern, “Are you okay? We are so fortunate. Had it been a couple of inches off, it could have struck me in the head”. The realization dawned on her that the incident could have had a fatal outcome.

The trajectory of the bolt matched up with the moment a transport truck hauling a trailer sped past in the opposite direction. Hutchinson revealed, “We are 90 percent certain it originated from that trailer”. Her statement stemmed from her independent research into what the unique bolt was typically used for – to fasten wood.

Keen on shedding more light on the matter, she hopes that a dashcam captured the incident or is pinning her hopes on finding clues about the bolt’s origin. She expressed, “Maybe I can get a hold of the semi if it belonged to a private entity. It’s worth asking if they’re missing a bolt or if they typically make use of this particular kind of bolt.”

A reminder on vehicular safety came from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. They highlighted a crucial part of the Motor Vehicle Act regulations, “Vehicles must be equipped and cargo must be restrained so it cannot leak, spill, blow off, fall from or fall through. It must not be able to dislodge from the vehicle in any way.” Non-compliance with this regulation may lead to a hefty fine of $288.

On their part, the ministry has incentivized Hutchinson to report the incident to local law enforcers. While an unsettling experience, it stands as a sobering reminder of the importance of safety and appropriate measures on the road.