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Driver talks about close call with metal pole

We're now hearing from the driver who had a close-call with a metal pipe that pierced his windshield.The Arizo...

Posted: Jun 29, 2018 2:18 PM
Updated: Jun 29, 2018 2:18 PM

We're now hearing from the driver who had a close-call with a metal pipe that pierced his windshield.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety tweeted out a photo earlier this month with a reminder that it's important for all drivers to secure their loads.

It's been nearly three weeks since Clayton DeMara of Mesa was in his car and on his way to work by himself.

It was around 6 a.m. on Thursday, June 7 when he saw a metal pipe bouncing in the road. He was on the Loop 202 in Tempe going about 70 miles per hour. He didn't see the pipe fall off any vehicle.

"Before I could avoid it, it was in the windshield," said DeMara who stopped it by putting both his hands in front of his face.

"It was a pretty big impact," he explained. "I heard it definitely, a big pop almost like a gunshot."

"I think initially I was thinking, 'Oh my gosh, did that hit me? Did it stop at my hands or did it actually do more?'" said DeMara, who explained glass was everywhere.

"I'm lucky that it didn't go right through my hands," he said. "Thankfully the pipe had a rubber cap on it or tape or something, so it wasn't fresh metal where it would've cut my hands."

There was nobody in the car with him. He planned to go into his Phoenix office for a couple of hours, return home, and then fly out of state with his family on vacation.

He was calm enough to hold the pipe with one hand and use the other to safely pull over to the side of the road, take a picture of the pole inside his car, and call his wife Nicole.

"I think I was more emotional than he was," she said. "It was very scary and I couldn't believe that he actually stopped it."

Clayton just got back from that vacation this week and got his windshield replaced on Tuesday morning.

There are still a few scratches on his hood and there's glass still blowing out his air conditioner.

Even though he can laugh about it now, his wife reminds him that it could've been worse.

The two just celebrated their 19th wedding anniversary.

She continues to thank God he's OK.

"Our lives could've changed in one second," Nicole said.

DPS troopers said they were not able to locate the driver with the unsecured load.

Clayton said he wanted to share his story on Tuesday to make sure drivers know the importance of securing whatever they're hauling.

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