Driver knocked unconscious by piece of concrete flying through windshield on I-696 in Warren

Woman downgraded to critical condition in hospital

WARREN, Mich. – A 42-year-old Grosse Pointe woman was knocked unconscious Wednesday when she was hit by a piece of concrete while she was driving on I-696 in Warren.

Police said the chunk of highway flew through the woman's windshield and hit her in the side of the head. The blow knocked her unconscious behind the wheel.

The woman's car veered into a Pontiac Grand Prix traveling beside her, and both cars careened into the highway barrier.

Officials said the concrete slab snapped the woman's sunglasses and sliced her forehead. She was helped into an ambulance and taken to a hospital with what were described as non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

The woman is still in the hospital and has been downgraded to critical condition, officials said.

Investigators said the 10- to 12-pound piece of concrete appeared to have come from the road. A patching crew fixed the hole in the highway near Hoover Road after the crash.

Similar incident reported last week

Nick Schade, of Chesterfield, said he experienced almost the same fate on that stretch of I-696 while he was driving last week.

"It happens in the blink of an eye, and before I knew it, glass was everywhere," Schade said.

His car, which is still in the shop, had new window tinting on it, and he thinks that might have prevented the rock from hitting him in the face. But the piece of concrete fell through and landed on the dashboard, disorienting him.

"Everything hitting you, and now knowing what's hitting you all at once, it's very scary," Schade said.

Michigan State Police are giving the chunk of highway from Wednesday morning's incident to the Michigan Department of Transportation.

"I'm just praying that she is OK and that goes beyond everything," Schade said. "Michigan roads are horrible, and we need to do something about them."

The Macomb Road Commission sent a crew to put cold patch in the hole where the chunk came out of the ground.

Michigan State Police troopers said it was a wrong place, wrong time accident.

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