Unsecured piece of plywood smashes ambulance windshield

Local News

LAKEWOOD, Colo. (KDVR)  – Lakewood police and West Metro Fire rescue are reminding drivers to secure their loads following a close call involving an ambulance. 

Thursday afternoon, firefighter-paramedics AJ Kallwheit and Chelsea Martinez were driving east on Sixth Avenue near Carr Street when they say an unsecured piece of lumber flew out from the bed of a truck and smashed into the windshield of the ambulance they were in. 

“We were just getting back from a call, so I was kind of doing my reporting on the computer, so I’d glance up, look down and I looked up and it looked like slow motion this piece of wood up in the air,” Martinez said. 

She says Kallwheit, who was driving, stayed perfectly calm during the situation. 

“I just didn’t want to get hit in the face with a piece of plywood, [so I] just kind of turned my head a little bit and kept going straight on the road,” Kallwheit said. 

According to Kallwheit, the piece of wood was about four feet long and two feet wide. He said it reminded him of the board used in cornhole games. 

The board left a gash in the windshield just inches from the driver’s seat.

“Sometimes those things go all the way through the window and people get severely injured, so I would say we were lucky,” Kallwheit said.

Martinez and Kallwhiet were not injured. They believe their training helped them remain calm.  

“If it was a citizen it could have been bad going 65 miles per hour,” Martinez said. 

They are now hoping their story of luck is a lesson for drivers to secure their loads. 

“If you’re hauling anything, make sure it’s not going to fly out,” Kallwheit said.  

According to Lakewood police, the truck driver was not cited. However, driving with an unsecured load is illegal. Drivers must secure anything that could fall, escape, blow off or leak out of a vehicle or trailer while on the road. 

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