Mobile man narrowly escapes death after road debris impales his car

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — A Mobile man called it “a blessing from God” when he arrived home safely after an almost deadly drive home from Daphne.

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Brent Carlson was driving home in his Hyundai Genesis Wednesday night from Signature Training Studios, where he is a personal trainer in Daphne, when he noticed something on Interstate 10 westbound near the Dauphin Island Parkway exit.

Brent Carlson, seen in a split shot, on the left, with this impaled car seat, on the right, in Alabama.
Brent Carlson, left, was in for quite a shock Wednesday night when his Hyundai Genesis ran over this iron rod. He later learned the five-foot road debris penetrated the car.

Initially, Carlson thought it was just trash in the road. He said he didn’t have time to avoid it and drove over it.

‘It sounded like a shotgun’

Brent Carlson said it quickly became apparent that this road debris was unlike any other he experienced.

“I go over it, and it sounded like a shotgun went off in the back of my car, which then, of course, I hear the car jump up and down, and so my assumption is I just destroyed my tire, my back tire,” he said.

He pulled over to see whether he had blown a tire, but his tires were just fine.

Still confused, he looked under the vehicle to find a small bar sticking out of the bottom.

He said he initially thought it was an axe head lodged into his car. It wasn’t scraping the road, and he couldn’t remove it, so he drove home.

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(Photo courtesy of Gaby Carlson)
(Photo courtesy of Gaby Carlson)
(Photo courtesy of Gaby Carlson)
(Photo courtesy of Gaby Carlson)
(Photo courtesy of Gaby Carlson)
(Photo courtesy of Gaby Carlson)
(Photo courtesy of Gaby Carlson)
(Photo courtesy of Gaby Carlson)

When Brent Carlson arrived home, he went to get bags out of his backseat.

And that’s when he noticed a 5-foot iron rod had shot right through the floor of his car and backseat.

‘It’s a blessing from God that I’m still here’

“Yeah, it was honestly a miracle because where the rod came started out at was actually right under my seat,” Brent Carlson said.

“It slid down the frame until it caught a spot that allowed it to not go any farther, and that’s the spot it was shot through. So if it was any earlier, it would have went straight through me, so it’s a blessing from God that I’m still here.”

Brent’s wife, Gaby, said she received a text from Brent while he was driving home, saying he’d hit something. When he arrived home, Gaby was asleep, and he awoke her to show what had happened.

“His face was in shock, and he just said, ‘You have to come see this.’ And that’s when he showed me this iron rod here,” Gaby Carlson said. “And I thought maybe he had picked it up on the side of the road, and so I tried to pick it up, and I noticed it was still attached to the car, the floorboard right there.

“It’s not 2 feet from where he is sitting, and it could have easily impaled him.”

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Gaby Carlson, standing beside the car with an iron rod that almost impaled her husband, Brent Carlson.
Gaby Carlson says this Hyundai Genesis has been “bad luck” in the past, but she never could have imagined what would happen to it Thursday night.

‘This is a new fear that’s been unlocked’

When she noticed what happened, she said she fell into tears and immediately hugged Brent.

She also thought of the “what-ifs” afterward.

Brent and Gaby have a 1-year-old daughter who, if she had been in the backseat of the car at the time, would have been in fatal danger.

The incident also opened the couple’s minds to another possible danger in the world.

“This is a new fear that’s been unlocked, right? Because this could happen,” Gaby Carlson said.

Gaby said this vehicle had been “bad luck” in the past, and the couple had just gotten it back after repairs.

Now, they’re back down to one car once again.

“Thankful that my husband was by himself, and that it hit where it hit,” she said. “That’s what’s important.”

The Carlsons called the Mobile Police Department to notify them of what Brent had experienced.

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“I don’t know how a giant rod with basically a spike on one end and a blade on the other, how that’s sitting in the road,” Brent said.

This is a developing story. News 5 will update this article as more information becomes available.

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