Woman says tire smashed windshield on I-485, launches petition to make highways safer

- A petition has been launched to try to keep our local highways safer after a local driver had a tractor trailer tire tread hit her windshield and cause $5,000 in damage, after the car in front of her hit it on Interstate 485. 

“Oh— it was terrifying,” said Lisa Neale. She takes 485 North home from school daily.

“On 77 and 485, I see things in the road all the time,” she said.  It’s really dangerous.”

One day recently, she had quite the scare herself.

“The sedan in front of me hit a huge tire tread and kicked it up into my car,” Neale said. 

The windshield was completely smashed.

“It took out the front bumper, the hood of the car, and completely destroyed my windshield,” said Neale.  “The Officer told me if it had hit the driver’s side instead of the middle, I’d be dead.”

It was something she doesn’t want other drivers to go through.  

“It was $5,000,” she said.  “They checked my eyes and I had shards of glass in my right eye.”

That’s why she launched a petition trying to get Governor Roy Cooper’s attention so more can done.

“Maybe get the governor's attention to change a few things so we can start cleaning up our highways,” Neale said.

“It’s an ongoing conversation,” said NCDOT Spokeswoman Jen Thompson. NCDOT says it has a lot of roads to maintain. 

“Everyday, we are out trying to find things to get out of the road,” said Thompson.  “We generally do a sweep every four weeks or so, but 485 it’s about an eight week cycle.” 

But Lisa is hoping for more, taking a look in the rear view mirror, thanking her lucky stars things didn’t turn out any worse.

“It’s a wake up call that I was very lucky in such a freak accident to be alive,” said Neale.  “Thankfully, I was able to walk away from it and the scratches were minor,  but I’ve heard so many horror stories where people have died and had serious surgeries because of these things.”

NCDOT wants the public to be on the lookout for debris in the road and report it. 

FOX 46 contacted Governor Roy Cooper’s office for comment, and is waiting to hear back.

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