BROOK PARK, Ohio - John Zambo tears up as he thinks about what could have been. The Lorain County father of three knows how close he came to losing his life after a piece of road debris struck his car back on Dec. 12.
Zambo showed NewsChannel5 the large 20-pound aluminum plate that rocketed through his front windshield, and then through his back windshield, as he drove though Brook Park on I-480 westbound.
"It was just a loud bang. It sounded like a gunshot that went through the car," explained Zambo. "I was just kind of numb. The police officers and the tow truck driver kept telling me how lucky I was, and I just kind of sat there. I mean I was dumbfounded."
Zambo reports he was stunned by the incident, but managed to control his vehicle and make his way to a safe spot along the roadside. Zambo believes the car in front of him somehow kicked-up the heavy metal plate and sent it hurtling toward his car.
"You feel it come by you and it's violent, and you don't realize until you look at it that it could have been the end of me, if I hadn't have ducked," explained Zambo.
Zambo filed a police report, as investigators try to determine where the metal plate came from, and how it ended up on the highway.
Zambo told NewsChannel5 the incident has changed his life, and he vows to spend more time with family, as well as volunteer to help the needy.
"When they go feed the homeless, to volunteer, just get back into doing things more for other people," said Zambo. "Because there's got to be some reason why I keep surviving these things. I've had a couple of heart attacks, and now this wake-up call here. It gets your attention, makes you think a little different."
If your vehicle is hit by road debris, you should pull off to a safe spot on the roadside as soon as possible.
Drivers should contact the police, file a police report, take pictures of the damage, and contact their insurance company.
Don't try to retrieve the debris yourself, let police or highway personnel safely remove the object from the road so no one else is victimized.
Zambo is urging all motorists to keep their eyes on the road at all times, and stop texting while driving.
"You should pay attention. It does make a difference," said Zambo."If I wasn't paying attention, I'd be dead. I see it all the time -- I'm driving behind somebody who's driving erratically, and you get beside them and they're doing this, they're texting. You see both thumbs moving and their head is up and down and up and down, and the car's all over the road."