Washington State Driver almost killed after flying debris hit her car

by Bernard Choi
KING News

A Renton, Washington woman says she narrowly escaped death Friday morning after a large strap fell from a semi truck, and impaled the windshield of her SUV.

"A few inches to the right, I wouldn't be here right now, I don't think," said 29-year-old Adrianna Escamilla.

It happened at 8:30 a.m. Friday as Adrianna was merging onto Interstate 5 from Interstate 405.

That's when Adrianna says she saw a strap unravel from the back of a semi in the next lane.

Witnesses say the strap went under the semi's tires, and was launched backwards.

All of the sudden, the metal end of the strap flew into her windshield like a rocket.

"It sounded like a rock hitting your car, but 10 times louder. It was really loud," said Escamilla. "I was like I think 'I'm going to die.'"
 
The buckle pierced the windshield, landing inches away from Adrianna, who somehow managed to pull over while covered in glass.
 
"The force of the buckle sent the glass all the way to the third row seat," said Escamilla.

"It could have been horrible. Had it been a foot over, it would have killed her," said Trooper Jeff Merrill, Washington State Patrol.

The strap struck the center console, narrowly missing the driver.

Witnesses and state troopers were able to flag down the driver of the semi, who then pulled over.

The driver admitted he forgot to put the strap away.

Troopers say unfortunately, unsecured loads remain a big problem on the state's highways.

For Adrianna, she's hoping her close call will get other drivers to be more careful.

"Take that second look, and see because you never know what can come off your vehicle," said Escamilla.

The truck driver was cited for failing to secure his load.