‘So scary’: Mississauga driver recounts the moment the shovel hit a car on Highway 403

Written by Javed Iqbal

It started as a routine run for Komal Syed.

“I went on the 403 from Winston Churchill,” the Mississauga resident told CTV News Toronto. “I just had two … exits to take.”

It was just before 11 o’clock on Monday and Syed was on his way to an appointment. She says she noticed a white sedan pulling into the lane in front of her, causing her to reduce her speed. That was when she noticed that something was strange about the car.

“That bumper started moving. And I thought, okay, it looks like its bumper is about to fall off. And the next thing I hear – a crash.”

Highway 403 incidentThe crash was not caused by a bumper, but by one shovel flying through her windshield only inches from her face.

“I honestly do not know where the shovel came from,” Syed said. “As far as I remember, the bumper moved. The bumper seemed to come off, but it was not. In the end, what was in my car was a shovel.”

Syed says at the moment that she managed to remain relatively calm.

“I turned around and saw this shovel in my windshield and I realized that okay, this is pretty big,” she said with a small laugh. “I mean, I obviously screamed and I must have panicked, but I did not swing happily.”

Syed withdrew to the side of the road and examined the damage. A cell phone video she took at the time shows the extent of the damage. She said she did not even realize she was covered in broken glass until a tow truck driver who had stopped to help pointed it out.

While telling the story with a nervous laugh now, she says she did not realize until much later how different the incident could have been if the shovels had hit the windshield elsewhere.

shovel“The next day, when I shared it and I repeated what happened, it was then that it struck me that it could have been anywhere.”

Syed says she drove the same route the next morning to discourage any fears she might have for safety. And says she has a message for other highway drivers in hopes that others will not have to go through what she has.

“If anyone is going on the highway with tools or equipment, please make sure it is properly secured. Because this is like … so scary.”

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Javed Iqbal

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