A Lehi family is grateful their dash camera recorded the moment when part of an office chair was catapulted into their windshield.
“I don’t even know where an office chair would’ve come from. It seems like maybe it’s heavy enough to stay in your truck bed, but definitely not because it was on the road,” passenger Lily Eaton said.
The Eaton family was southbound on I-15 in Lehi Saturday afternoon when they said the base of a chair without wheels flew at their car.
“We could see it looked like a rock, something flying toward us,” Lily said. “We’re like, ‘Oh, that’s weird, oh that’s going to hit us!’”
Lily’s mother was driving, and her older sister, Anabella, was sitting in the passenger seat. Eaton sat in the backseat between her 3-year-old sister, Charlotte, and her partner.
“I was talking with my family and then, all of a sudden, the whole windshield is completely shattered,” Lily said.
The video shows the metal piece hitting the passenger side of the windshield, directly in front of Anabella.
“I was trying to reach around and see her face,” Lily said. “What about Charlotte, who’s sitting next to me? I’m trying to make sure my 3-year-old sister was OK, and nothing hit her. She had a little bit of glass on her.”
Lily’s mother, Lea Eaton, pulled over to the shoulder while Lily called 911.
“When I was on the phone with the 911 operator, she said can you pull off to the Subway because we’re dealing with another fatal accident,” Lily said. “Hearing that, I was like, we’re good, we’re OK everybody is safe.”
The Eatons said Anabella had cuts across her legs from the glass, but other than that, no one was injured.
“It was kind of the luckiest unlucky thing because it didn’t go through the windshield,” Lily said. “We’re just really grateful everyone is alive and well.”
The family can’t help but wonder what could have happened. They spent hours reviewing the dashcam footage to figure out what had hit them.
“It was two lanes over from us,” Lily said. “It was the bottom of an office chair, just the metal parts. It didn’t have any of the wheels. It was sitting in the middle of the road when a car two cars over from us ran over it, and we’re assuming that when they hit it, it spat out from under their tire, it went over the car next to us and onto our windshield.”
They said this serves as a reminder to watch the road.
“Obviously, we didn’t get into the car thinking we were going to get into a car accident,” Lily said. “It’s important just to pay attention. I think if maybe my mom was on her phone or distracted with passengers ... it could’ve been a lot worse than what it was.”
Lea said it’s important to pack heavy loads carefully and make sure everything is properly tied down.
“I think that it seems like maybe it’s not a big deal; people can swerve around it, but if you’re not paying attention, it can create really big problems for a lot of people,” Lily added.
They’re working on repairs for their family car, which is covered in shards of glass. The windshield is concave.
“As much as it’s going to be a pain to fix it, we’re just happy that everybody’s alive,” Lily said.
They’re grateful they had the dashcam in their vehicle.
“It also gives you some kind of closure to know you can do a little bit of detective work to find out what actually happened,” Lily said.