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'It's a miracle': Father of five survives close call after metal rod impales car near Federal Way

Troopers believe the rod came from an unsecured load. The outcome could have been much worse.

FEDERAL WAY, Wash. — A Washington man is counting his blessings after a close call on I-5.

Andrii Mordavets, a husband and father of five, was driving home from his job at the City of Seattle around 3 p.m. Wednesday when he suddenly saw a steel rod come flying towards his car. 

The long metal pole crashed into his driver's side windshield and lodged into the roof of his car. He survived with a scrape to his head that required eight stitches. 

“It’s a miracle for me. God’s mercy and a miracle that I’m still alive and I’m talking to you – life’s good – yeah. And God is good, also,” Mordavets said.

Photos shared by Washington State Patrol Trooper Rick Johnson show just how close the steel rod could have caused a much different outcome. 

“One-eights of an inch lower and I’m done," Mordavets acknowledged. “I’m glad I’m alive. God gave me a second life. I’ve decided to concentrate on life and how I’m going to live right now.”

Credit: Washington State Patrol

Mordavets was traveling on southbound I-5 near 320th St. in Federal Way when the rod pierced his windshield. 

Trooper Johnson said the rod likely came from an unsecured load. 

An unsecured load is illegal in Washington state. The law says "if an item falls off a vehicle and causes bodily harm, the driver faces gross misdemeanor charges and penalties of up to $5,000 and/or up to a year in prison."

Lawmakers have been pushing for tougher laws on unsecured loads.

In November, Rep. Christine Kilduff (D-University Place) pushed for renewed legislation that would force all commercial trucks to cover their loads. 

Kilduff said she would introduce a new bill during the 2020 legislative session. 

If you have any information on the incident or were driving nearby at the time, call the Washington State Patrol at 425-401-7788.

RELATED: Washington loophole allows unsecured loads on some dump trucks