Flying ice on freeways the latest road worry

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by ERIC WILKINSON / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on January 20, 2012 at 6:58 PM

Lexx Collier thought he had dodged the worst of the winter driving as he made his way down I-5 to work this morning. Then, out of nowhere, he got hit.

"It was a loud pop," he says.

Collier got nailed with a big chunk of ice that came flying off the car in front of him, cracking his windshield. He tweeted KING 5 today, to warn others about the danger.

"My choices were either try to avoid it or let it hit," he said. "Since the road was so slippery I decided just to bear the brunt of the ice."

Flying sheets of ice have been a problem all across the area, with many people simply not thinking about the those in their rearview mirrors. 

"I tried to catch up with them to alert them that there was still ice flying off their car, and at thay point they were gone," said Collier.

The Washington State Patrol says it is not against the law to drive with a big pile of ice on your roof. However, if your car does cause a cracked windshield or an accident, and someone gets your license plate number, your insurance could be held liable.

Smashed windshields are just part of the problems drivers are dealing with in the storm's aftermath. A half dozen cars and counting are stacked up at Premeire Auto Body in Tukwila. They are typically besieged with bent bumpers and crunched quarter panels after a big snow, but this storm is different.

Pete Rahiman says they're seeing more totalled cars than a typical storm. He blames the ice that often sneaks up on drivers and causes crashes at higher speeds.

"I've seen the 4x4's on the freeways that think they own the street, but they don't. If you make a mistake you flip over," he said.

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