NORTH DIGHTON, Mass. (WPRI) — Susan Araujo’s first car crash is one she’ll remember forever.
Araujo was driving behind a box truck on South Walker Street in Taunton when the truck took a turn, slinging a sheet of ice and snow from its roof that crashed straight into her windshield.
“It was just like you see in the movies, just, slow motion,” she recalled. “This chunk of ice coming… and, I basically put my hands up, I’m driving! I put my hands up and it was just like, BOOM, right through the vehicle. Ice, snow, everywhere.”
Araujo believes since she was wearing glasses she was protected from glass getting into her eyes. But her face and hands still suffered cuts and bruising.
Araujo said the box truck did not stop at the scene, but her brother was able to follow the trail of snow and ice right to the truck and its driver.
When confronted about it, Araujo said the driver was surprised. He told Araujo’s brother he had no idea what had happened and that he was very sorry about the whole situation.
In Rhode Island, drivers could face a fine of up to $85 for not clearing snow off of their vehicles. Since there is no clear-cut law in Massachusetts, fines and citations could add up to $200.
Lt. Mark Cadoret of the East Providence Police Department said, while it’s simply a traffic violation, it’s an important one to enforce.
“If it’s loose powder snow, that could create a blizzard behind the vehicle, making it difficult for anyone behind you operating their vehicle,” he said. “But also, frozen sheets of snow may get tossed off your vehicle and land on theirs, causing either accidents or injuries to motorists behind you.”
Araujo is hoping her story will serve as a warning to others.
“It could’ve been awful,” she said. “It could’ve been so much worse. But it just makes me mad that it’s so simple for people to do. Clean off your car, your truck… You’re going to hurt somebody, you’re going to kill somebody, you’re going to maim somebody. I’m lucky.”