A man in North Carolina is surprised to be alive after he was struck in the face by a heavy metal object that had flown through his windshield while traveling on Interstate 85. WSOC TV reported that around 11:20 p.m. on Thursday, January 18, Patrick Rowland, 32, was sitting in the passenger side of a vehicle that was being driven by his wife, Ashlie.
The couple was purportedly on their way home in Kings Mountain, traveling in the southbound lanes of Interstate 85 near Belmont, when things suddenly went awry. As Ashlie was approaching exit 27, a heavy metal object flew through the windshield of their vehicle, striking Patrick in the face.
It is believed that the metal object fell from a tractor-trailer that was traveling in close proximity.
Patrick stated that all he remembers is an object crashing through the windshield and paramedics speaking to him, but his wife remembers it all too well. Ashlie recalls the terrifying moments after the incident, saying that her husband went unconscious and fell in her lap.
It was reported that Ashlie immediately pulled the vehicle over and called 911. When she looked at her husband’s injuries, which she believed to be extremely severe, Ashlie thought that he wasn’t going to survive.
Ashlie went on to say that she had never seen an injury like that in all her life, adding that it appeared as if Patrick’s head had been pushed in by the heavy metal object.
When emergency medical services arrived at Interstate 85, they rushed Patrick to a hospital in Gaston County, where medical staff transferred him to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte.
Patrick was left with nine broken bones, and his “forehead had to be sutured back together and both of his orbital bones were fractured along with his nose, septum, and upper jaw.”
Doctors say that it may take multiple surgeries to repair his face. Patrick said that he knows that his situation is unfortunate, but he feels lucky to have survived that ordeal.
He also said that he is glad that it was him who underwent that tragedy in lieu of a small child.
“If I wasn’t right where I was when I was there, it could have happened to somebody else and they might not have been so lucky,” said Patrick.
ABC News reported that the couple is grateful that “none of their five children” were with them in the car when the metal object flew through the windshield on Interstate 85.
Patrick is said to be having surgery on Wednesday, and he is hoping that Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton will visit him during his hospital stay.
A GoFundMe account has been created in hopes of raising $10,000 in donations to help pay for medical expenses.
According to a representative with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, the Belmont Police Department will more than likely investigate the incident.