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‘It’s really scary,’ motorist says after concrete falls from I-93 overpass and strikes windshield

The shattered windshield of an SUV at an auto body shop in Belmont where it was towed.Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

A piece of concrete fell from an overpass on Interstate 93 in Somerville on Tuesday morning and landed on the windshield of an Audi driven by a 64-year-old motorist from California, officials said.

In a telephone interview Tuesday night, Leonard Brown, the driver, said he at first thought a piece of ice or snow had fallen on his vehicle. After realizing it was a chunk of concrete, he pulled over on Broadway and called 911, he said.

“While I was standing there responding, I realized what really had happened,” he said by telephone Tuesday night. “I had just barely missed being hit by a piece of concrete that was 12, 15 inches across and several inches thick and had gone from the front window and was sitting on the back deck of my Audi Q5 in the backseat.”


Brown said it was “miraculous” that he wasn’t seriously hurt. He suffered a few scratches and bruises on his hand, he said.

“The fact that this happened is pretty amazing that there’s infrastructure bills that have been approved and money authorized and we’re having pieces of bridges falling on cars,” he said. “It could have been a lot more serious than it was, and it’s really scary.”

David Procopio, a State Police spokesman, said in a statement that the incident occurred at 9:55 a.m.

Procopio said “the operator of a 2010 Audi Q5, a 64-year-old man from Santa Barbara, Calif., reported that a piece of concrete fell onto his windshield from the Route 93 overpass as he was driving on Route 28 in Somerville.’

Kristen Penucci, a spokeswoman for MassDOT, said in a separate statement that the agency responded immediately.

“MassDOT was alerted to a report of concrete falling from the Exit 20 overpass and immediately dispatched staff to inspect the structure,” Penucci said.


Dwayne Bryant, manager of Auto Engineering Body Works Inc., the Belmont autobody shop where the Audi was taken, said in a phone interview that the car will likely be totaled. The hole in the windshield, he said, is about a foot and a half long by eight inches wide.

Bryant said the driver told him the concrete bounced off his steering wheel, hit his hand, and then went toward the back of the vehicle, leaving extensive interior damage.

“He’s very lucky,” Bryant said, adding it was fortuitous that the concrete hit the steering wheel first. “That’s probably what saved him.”

Travis Andersen can be reached at