Snow and ice present their own sets of problems for people who have to deal with them during this time of year. They’re a major inconvenience when you’re trying to get somewhere, but they can quickly turn an annoying situation into a dangerous one if precautions aren’t taken.
Black ice is one major problem that has caused injury and death. Another ice-related issue that hasn’t gotten as much press is chunks of ice that haven’t been removed from vehicles flying off and hitting other passing vehicles.
After reportedly experiencing such an event, Martin Burger from Ontario, Canada, has been sharing his story to raise awareness and urge people to completely clear their vehicles before driving.
On Thursday, Burger said he was driving with his 16-year-old son at around 6:40 p.m. when a chunk of ice dislodged from an oncoming vehicle and headed right for his windshield.
Burger remembers realizing that it would hit his car, but he was shocked when it tore through his windshield and hit him in the face.
“I saw the ice spinning towards our windshield, I heard the impact and saw the windshield shatter, what I did not expect was the ice came through the windshield and struck me in the face,” he posted on Facebook.
“Something came over me and I was able to remain calm and pull my vehicle safely off the road. My son called 911 and I was transferred to the Renfrew hospital.”
Burger told the Ottawa Citizen that he could feel the blood “falling down [his] face.” A hospital trip and 12 stitches later, Burger was left with a damaged eye and a variety of gashes on his face, but is expected to make a full recovery.
“I am so grateful my son was not driving, as a parent you never want harm to your child,” he wrote. “Very fortunate he was not injured, not even a mark.”
“I will heal and am grateful I was able to go home, as things could have turned out a lot worse.”
“This post is not to see how many likes I can get or get well wishes, I merely want everyone to be conscious of completely clearing their vehicle off before heading on the road. This will help prevent another misfortune from occurring to some one you may know.”
Later on that very same day, a bus driver experienced a similar emergency and suffered some minor injuries, according to the Ottawa Citizen.
“I am creating this post to heighten awareness for everyone to clean their entire vehicle off of snow/ice prior to driving,” Burger wrote. “With the recent weather conditions causing ice build up on vehicles causes dangerous conditions for ice flying off your vehicle.”
Ottawa Police last week reported 30 calls of damage to vehicles due to flying ice, and have also warned that drivers who fail to clean their cars completely before hitting the road could be charged with “having an unsafe vehicle.”
It was too dark for Burger to get any identifying details on the vehicle that caused his problems, but for now he’s thankful to be alive, thankful his son wasn’t hurt and mentioned that the heart-shaped hole smashed through his windshield suggested “someone was watching over us.”
CORRECTION, Jan. 24 2020: A previous version of this article misspelled the city of Ottawa and the name of the Ottawa Citizen on multiple occasions.
We have corrected the references, and we apologize to the Ottawa Citizen and to our readers for the error.
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