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SLC man says someone threw rock at his car on I-215, shattering windshield

May 23, 2023, 7:08 PM | Updated: May 24, 2023, 2:20 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — A Salt Lake City man is lucky he wasn’t hurt after saying he believes someone intentionally threw a large rock onto I-215, hitting his windshield as he drove at freeway speeds.

Cruising home from work on I-215 Monday around noon, Sam Fairbourn said he was heading north toward the Parley’s Canyon exit when suddenly there was a “huge explosion, just like send glass everywhere in the car.”

Shards of glass blasted Fairbourn in the face. Pieces of glass ended up in his hair and mouth, as well as all over the dashboard and seats. He tried to stay calm, as his windshield completely shattered and cracked on the driver’s side.

“It kind of took me by surprise,” he said. “It took me a good a second to kind of sit there and be like, there’s a rock sitting on my dashboard now.”

He pulled off the next exit to safety, with a large concrete-looking rock protruding through the glass, resting on the dash.

Moments before it hit his car, Fairbourn recounted seeing the rock fall from above as he drove under a pedestrian overpass.

“It fell, hit the ground, and then bounced back,” he said. “So I did see it kind of pop, boom, and right into the windshield.”

He believes it fell or was thrown from that pedestrian overpass, which is part of the Parley’s Trail and can be accessed from the Grandeur Peak Face Trailhead parking lot or from Tanner Park.

If it had been hurled through the windshield just a few inches higher, Fairbourn might have been hit with a completely different situation.

“I’m glad to be alive,” he said. “I was glad to be untouched. I barely didn’t really see a scratch.”

When he called the Utah Highway Patrol dispatch, Fairbourn said the dispatcher told him to call insurance, and that was it.

UHP indicated Tuesday that a trooper was not made aware of the call, and they could not track down the dispatch call. They were not investigating the matter further and said they didn’t take any other calls of items being thrown or falling from that pedestrian bridge.

Fairbourn said he will have to pay hundreds of dollars to fix the damage and replace his windshield because insurance won’t cover it.

And to whoever may have thrown the rock, he hopes they understand just how dangerous their actions were.

“Realize the severity of what you’re doing,” Fairbourn said. “It may seem like fun and games, but putting people’s lives at risk, their property at risk is just not okay.”

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SLC man says someone threw rock at his car on I-215, shattering windshield