STREETSBORO, Ohio (WJW) — A shocking moment, caught on car dashcam. In just seconds, what started as a girl’s day out, became a near death situation for Kim Awada and her friend.
“Just thankful to be alive. Honestly. And that my friend was not injured,” Awada said of the experience.
While taking the turnpike home last Thursday, Awada’s rear camera shows a pickup truck changing lanes near the Streetsboro entrance to pass her.
“All the sudden you see this wood flying and just smashed right through our window.”
As the piece of wood flies her way you can see the car move towards the left lane as Awada tries to avoid it. The board landed between them.
“If I would’ve, you know, maneuvered the car a little bit differently it would’ve been a whole different scenario.”
Ohio State Highway Patrol Sgt. Ray Santiago says a similar scare happened in northwest Ohio back in March.
“They don’t happen you know very frequently but when they do, you know it’s two times too many.”
Santiago says there are troopers specifically looking for these types of violations to try and prevent incidents like these from happening.
He says in this case, the driver didn’t know he had lost part of his load and kept driving. Troopers were able to catch up to him.
“He was cited. He did secure his load with additional strapping that was available to us at the time.”
Under current Ohio law, the charge of traveling with an unsecured load is a minor misdemeanor that carries a fine of up to $150.
Awada thinks the penalty should be stiffer.
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“I think they need a whole new law or at least revise this one and make it stronger penalties and make people more accountable.”
A bill is in committee in Columbus introduced by District 7 State Representative Thomas Patton (R) that would increase the penalty to $500 if no one is impacted.
“Most of the states around us have a minimum penalty of $500,” he said.
If anyone is injured or property damaged, it would be a third-degree misdemeanor, carrying a fine of $2500 in addition to any other penalty the court would impose.
“In the past like four years, 1,750 and 50 people were seriously injured and six people were killed,” Patton said citing Ohio statistics.
Luckily, Awada and her friend weren’t one of them. “That’s cuz God was there. God was there,” she said.
Santiago urges drivers to make sure you safely secure anything you’re hauling to your vehicle before you get on the road so there’s not risk of harm to yourself or others.