COLLINS, N.Y. (WIVB)- A Collins couple faced a terrifying experience on Christmas Day. Snow plowed on overpass fell onto their car, shattering their windshield.
They told News 4 they’re thankful to be alive.
“Just like a bomb went off, just totally white, couldn’t see nothing,” described Paul Waterman.
At about 10 a.m., he and his wife Edythe were traveling on the 219 N on their way to Rochester to visit family. They said two plows, driving in tandem, were clearing the Southwestern Blvd overpass.
“Next thing you know it’s like someone is taking a baseball bat and on both sides of the window, hitting it with full force,” said Edythe Waterman. “You’re just in total shock.”
The impact of the plowed snow and ice coming off the overpass shattered their windshield.
The Watermans told us the glass was pushed in about eight inches on the passenger’s side where Edythe was sitting.
“That was the worst part, I thought she got hurt,” said Paul Waterman.
The driver’s side wasn’t as bad, he said, but the whole windshield was cracked and there was glass all over.
Amazingly, they were not injured. Paul was able to maintain control of the vehicle and get off an exit to call for help.
Two days later, they have a new windshield, but there is still glass on the dashboard. The driver’s side light is also cracked, part of the trim is missing and they lost their windshield wipers.
“Thank God we didn’t get killed, just talking about the damage to the vehicle,” said Paul Waterman.
State Department of Transportation told News 4 they have protocols in place to prevent this. A spokesperson told us snow plows are supposed to stay below 35mph. There should also be permanent or temporary snow fencing along all overpasses to prevent large chunks from falling..
“Apparently it’s not strong enough to keep the snow from coming over,” said Edythe Waterman.
They’ve now filed a claim with the state to pay for the damages, which they don’t think they should be responsible for.
The DOT says anyone whose vehicle is damaged by snow plowing this winter should file a claim, the number to call is 847-3173.
According to the DOT, you’ll be connected to a claims coordinator to walk you through the process.