RICHVALE — An 18-year-old Chico man remained hospitalized Wednesday with an injury he suffered when a metal object flew through his windshield while he was driving, and hit him in the face.
Maxwell Joseph Bryant was taken by ambulance to Enloe Medical Center in Chico early Tuesday morning after the accident, which occurred on Highway 99, just south of Highway 162.
A hospital spokeswoman said Wednesday afternoon that Bryant was still a patient, but his condition was undetermined by deadline.
California Highway Patrol spokesman Doug Garret said Bryant suffered a broken jaw and a large cut from his lower lip down past his chin.
Garrett said Bryant was driving south on Highway 99 when a piece of steel about 7 inches long, 3 inches wide and 1Ú4 inch thick broke through the windshield and struck him.
The injured driver was able to safely pull over to the right shoulder.
Garrett said officials don”t know what the object is.
He said accidents like this are not as unusual as people think, though instances are not frequent.
“I”ve seen it a couple of times in my career,” he said.
The CHP doesn”t know where the metal came from. Garrett said it might have fallen out of a car or truck going the other direction.
He also said that sometimes trucks with dual tires get objects wedged into the tires, and it could have flown off from that.
“It had a lot of force to go through the windshield,” Garrett added.
Garrett suggested the object could have been thrown by someone, but there were no pedestrians nearby. The spokesman said it was possible someone driving the opposite direction could have thrown the metal, but he added the driver didn”t indicate anything like that happened.
Staff writer Barbara Arrigoni can be reached at 533-3136 or email@example.com.