A woman was impaled by a metal pole while riding in the passenger seat of a car, but somehow miraculously survived

  • A California woman narrowly escaped a gruesome death after a long metal bar fell off a big rig truck, and burst through the underside of her car's exterior, impaling her in the leg.

  • Police and firefighters arrived to pull the bar out of the woman's leg and rush her to the emergency room.

  • Photos of the accident released by the California Highway Patrol show the woman's impaled leg. Another photo shows a firefighter holding the bar after it had been removed from the woman's leg.

  • Unsecured cargo loads like this resulted in 200,000 crashed between 2011 and 2014, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Five hundred of those accidents resulted in deaths.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.


Photo: California Highway Patrol South Sacramento

A California woman experienced every driver's worst nightmare this week and somehow lived to tell the tale. In a scene seemingly straight out of a "Final Destination" film, a piece of metal several feet long fell off the back of a big rig truck, broke through the bottom of her car, and impaled her leg.

impaled woman photo of rescurers
impaled woman photo of rescurers

California Highway Patrol / Facebook

The California Highway Patrol described the moment the accident occurred in a statement posted on Facebook.

"The metal bar then bounced up and entered the right front of the Chevy, traveled through the engine compartment and entered the passenger compartment of the Chevy and impaled the right leg of the right front passenger," the CHP statement reads. "The driver of the Impala exited the freeway and called 911. The big rig failed to stop and continued to travel on northbound SR-99."

After receiving the emergency 911 call, police and local firefighters arrived on the scene to remove the bar from the woman's leg and rushed her to an emergency room. Luckily, she survived.

A photo of the accident, posted online to the CHP Facebook page, shows the woman sitting in the passenger seat of a Chevrolet sedan with the metal bar jutting out violently from underneath the dashboard glove compartment. The bar blasted through the interior of the car and pierced the woman's leg halfway up her shin, pinning her leg against the seat cushion.

Image of the bar removed from the person's leg
Image of the bar removed from the person's leg

California Highway Patrol / Facebook

In another photo, a firefighter can be seen holding the long piece of metal in his hand. The ominous metal bar was at least three feet long, and the end appears stained with the woman's leg blood.

Failing to properly secure a load on the back of a truck is illegal. According to CHP, the drivers of the big rig never stopped driving, and a hunt is on for any information about their identity.

Roadside debris led to 39,000 injuries and 500 deaths between 2011 and 2014.

Though the woman managed to live in this case, others haven't been so lucky. In 2016, a 29-year-old Phoenix driver was killed after a similarly unsecured scrap of metal fell off a truck, broke through his windshield, and impaled him in the heart. He died almost instantly. In another case in 2004, a piece of particle board detached from a trailer and broke through a woman's windshield, crushing every bone in her face.

These represent just a couple of the more than 200,000 road crashes caused by debris that occurred between 2011 and 2014, according to a report by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Of the crashes noted in that report, 39,000 involved injuries and 500 left the drivers or their passengers dead.

The California passenger is the second motorist in as many months to make headlines after narrowly escaping a gruesome, gory end.

In the above case, a Georgia driver rear-ended a logging truck resulting in a log piercing the windshield at eye level. The driver narrowly missed being impaled because he was bent over at the time looking for something on the car floor.

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