Poconos Coal

Ice flying from vehicles back in the spotlight after two incidents

Driver struck Tuesday, bicyclist on Wednesday

It happened in an instant.

A chunk of ice flew off of a tractor trailer in Smithfield Township Tuesday and punched through Rose and Thomas Kent's car.

"Put a hole right through the windshield," Pennsylvania State Trooper Anthony Petroski said.

It happened again the very next day, this time to a bicyclist from Oregon, traveling across the country promoting breast cancer awareness.

He was hit in the shoulder when ice flew from a vehicle near Jim Thorpe.

"It's not intentional," Trooper Petroski said, adding that it is preventable.

"If you take the time to clean your vehicle maybe incidents like this wouldn't happen," he said.

Troopers say, fortunately, both Kent and the cyclist were not seriously injured. 

But one Pennsylvania state lawmaker says this is where the rubber meets the road.

State Senator Lisa Boscola, representing parts of Northampton and Lehigh counties, tweeted out a photo of the Kent's smashed car saying "This is completely preventable…We need to act on this NOW to ensure the safety of all that travel on our roads."

She first brought up the issue after 2005, when 51-year-old Christine Lambert - a wife and mother from Northampton County - was killed on Christmas Day, by flying ice that smashed through her car windshield.

"It's amazing to me that people still don't take the time," Frank Lambert, Christine's widow, said in 2015.

When 69 News spoke with her family three years ago, they said it still hurts.

It always will.

That's why they're behind Senator Boscola's plan to make penalties for not clearing off the ice and snow from a vehicle harsher.

Right now, drivers face a fine of between $200 and $1,000, but state police say that's if ice falls and results in serious injury or death.

Boscola wants to make it a law that a snow-covered vehicle can be pulled over, before that could ever happen.

In her tweet, Senator Boscola said she plans to re-introduce legislation next week.

In the meantime, troopers say just take the time, to do the right thing.

"You wouldn't want it coming off somebody else's vehicle hitting yours, try to do the same," Trooper Petroski said.

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