A woman was left terrified after something hit her out of nowhere while driving on the highway.
Tina and Kevin Morales were with friends leaving a restaurant when their car was stuck at I-35. At first, she thought she had been shot. Then, she realized what it actually was that had left her bleeding.
The couple describes the ‘rock’ as a broken-off piece of concrete the size of a softball. The concrete rock hit their friend in the shoulder and then hit Tina in the neck.
Tina Morales said in a statement:
“It was just like an explosion. We thought we were shot. That is the first thing I thought, someone shot me in the neck.”
“I think if it wouldn’t have hit Frank and slowed down just a little bit on his shoulder, I probably wouldn’t be here,” she added.
According to News4:
Since summer 2014, a total of 52 rock-throwing incidents have been reported to Austin Police. Police say it’s a very dangerous crime and they must catch who’s doing it before things get worse.
“Sooner or later my biggest fear is a person or persons will be killed,” said Chief Art Acevedo. Acevedo said his department has spent 15,000 hours working to identify and capture whoever is throwing rocks into traffic on I-35.
“These attacks, as far as we are concerned, are deadly attacks with potentially fatal and deadly consequences for innocent motorists,” he added.
Kevin Morales said they specifically took the upper deck of I-35 because of previous rock-throwing incidents on the lower deck.
“The one thing that for sure will prevent anyone from doing this is a fence,” suggested Kevin Morales. “It might not look good to the city, but its definitely going to save lives.”
No one is in custody and no one was seen throwing the rock.
Tina was stunned, while she was struck in the neck and initially not knowing what had hit her:
“I literally thought I got shot. I kept on saying I think someone shot me in the neck, someone shot me in the neck,” she said.
“It’s crazy. You just don’t expect something like this, simply driving home,” Tina added.
In a similar incident, a Williamson County ambulance also fell victim to the rock attacks. They were traveling the same stretch of I-35 the Morales’ were — between Braker and Yager Lane.
“If it hit the window when we were patiently loaded, [it] very obviously could’ve caused a significant collision,” said Williamson County EMS Division Commander Ed Tydings.
Police say after Tuesday, they’re no longer talking about methods or progress in their investigation because it’s not helping their efforts — but they are aggressively utilizing every tool at their disposal.
For whoever’s behind it all, Acevedo has a message:
“If the person or persons responsible for this hears my voice, know this, we’re not going to rest and we’re going to catch you. I guarantee you we’re going to catch you,” he said.
Acevedo explained the rock-throwing incidents are not a simple set of circumstances to investigate because they happen in an instant and at a very fluid scene.
He said it’s critical every incident is reported immediately. If your vehicle is hit by a rock, do not wait until you get home to report it. Pullover to a safe place and call 911 as soon as possible.
Watch it here: AustinPolice/Youtube