A drive back home to Prince George turned into a scary incident for a family this past weekend.
Zantaya Hutchinson was driving through Williams Lake on Sunday, along Highway 97 north, when an object started heading toward the windshield.
“All of a sudden, we just see this thing flying at us. We originally thought it was a rock,” she says. “I was stunned. I was just in shock."
It was just after 4:15 p.m., near the Williams Lake Cutoff Road, when a transport truck passed them and the windshield was smashed.
“It had gone through the windshield and then there was glass everywhere,” she says. "My face was bleeding a little bit.”
Hutchinson tried to pull over after getting glass in her face and almost hit a ditch. Her one-year-old daughter was rear-facing in a car seat and the item that went through the windshield landed right beside her.
“Luckily, it didn't hit her. It was just very scary and potentially fatal,” she says.
The object was a large bolt.
“My husband was looking to see if there was a rock in the car or whatever and then he found this six-inch bolt inside,” she says, noting it was the size of her hand. “From our perspective, it looked like it had come from a semi coming towards us, like in the southbound lane. It was coming from above eyesight.”
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure says the incident was not reported to Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement and it has not been asked by police to support an investigation.
In a written statement, the ministry explains how it is committed to ensuring all commercial trucks on the highways are operated safely.
"CVSE officers patrol our roads daily in both marked and unmarked vehicles, carry portable weigh scales, and regularly inspect trucks throughout the province to help enforce safe driving requirements," says a spokesperson with the ministry.
CVSE does pull vehicles over for inspections and targets more than 25,000 commercial vehicles for inspections.
In B.C., the Motor Vehicle Act Regulations state that vehicles must be equipped and cargo must be contained, immobilized or secured so that it cannot leak, spill, blow off, fall from, fall through or otherwise be dislodged from the vehicle.
"CVSE officers ensure that trucks comply with load securement safety regulations as part of their monitoring and enforcement," says the spokesperson.
The fine for not securing cargo is $288 and police can also issue other fines for driving without consideration. Anyone who witnesses a truck driving unsafely or suspects a transport truck is unsafe can contact police or CVSE at 1 888 775-8785 or at CVSEgeneralinquiry@gov.bc.ca.
Hutchinson believes the incident could have been avoided and is now hoping to find someone who might have witnessed what happened.
"I just wanted to see if like somebody by any chance had seen or had dashcam footage or anything,” she says.
The couple is now dealing with ICBC and says this is their only vehicle. They’re thankful that no one was seriously injured.
“It was traumatizing,” she says.