VALLEY VIEW, OH – A man driving a pickup truck was hurt when wind gusts between 50 and 60 mph ripped large metal highway signs from the Valley View Bridge, tossing them into westbound traffic below.
It happened Tuesday around 4:30 p.m. during the height of the powerful storm.
"I just, your heart stops, you know? You see this sheet of metal falling and you just don't know what to think. You are just in shock," said Traci Earhart.
Earhart was driving across the bridge when the front of her car was hit by a large metal sign.
"It fell so fast and so hard and it ricocheted off of the front of my car left-ward and I saw it go and break into pieces and the car on the far left got hit the worst. It hit his windshield and shattered," Earhart said.
The signs fell from about 30' high.
Earhart said other drivers stopped to help.
The driver of the truck was hurt.
"He was walking around. He had a towel up to his face. It was pouring rain. It was hard to see, but it looked like he probably had an injury on his face," said Earhart.
Police said the man was taken to a hospital by ambulance.
Earhart's mother, Riki Schaefer, came to the scene to help her daughter. Schaefer said they don't know what caused the signs to fall.
"An inspection would be a good thing. I don't know if lightning hit it or if the bolts got rusty or just some freak kind of wind," Schaefer said.
"I'm grateful, very grateful and I hope the person who wasn't so lucky ends up being just fine," Earhart said.
An ODOT spokeswoman said ODOT crews picked up all the fallen signs. She did not know if any factors other than the wind contributed to the signs falling.