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Cars hit by rocks while driving on I-19

Posted at 10:16 PM, Jan 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-15 00:16:30-05

Mark Robles was driving northbound on I-19 last Saturday night when he heard a few loud bangs -- something hit his car as he came out of the Drexel Rd. overpass.

"We heard three loud noises we thought were gun shots or something," he said. "That we might have gotten hit."

They weren't gunshots, they weren't tires blowing out, they weren't night birds, as he suggested. Rather -- they were rocks, the size of baseballs.

"Three rocks that hit the front of my vehicle," Robles said. "One of them hit the hood, and the other ones bounced off and hit the windshield and the door post."

Immediately afterwards, he pulled off to the side of the road where he found six other vehicles all dealing with the same problem. Two of those vehicles were 18-wheeler trucks. Robles wasn't hurt, and his car only suffered minor damages compared to what he says could have been a much worse situation.

"It definitely could have been a huge accident, it could have been a pileup, that 18-wheeler could have lost control," Robles said. "If it was a gas 18-wheeler, it could have blown up. I probably wouldn't be standing here."

He described the whole experience as "traumatic," and is nervous it will have an effect on the way he drives. At this point, a week later, he's avoiding that specific stretch of I-19.

"It was very traumatizing," he said. "Every time I get on the freeway, if I'm going to pass a bridge, am I going to have to duck, swerve, make sure I'm not going to get hit this time? It's not a good feeling."

Robles filed a report with the Department of Public Safety that night. DPS troopers and a helicopter were on scene, searching the surrounding area for suspects. However, they found no suspects that night.