Freak Accident in Livermore: Metal Pipe Kills Father of 3

California Highway Patrol investigators are hoping witnesses will come forward after a Sacramento-area man was impaled by a metal pipe that came crashing through his car windshield as he drove on Interstate 580 Wednesday morning

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Michael Cox, a 33-year-old Lodi man died after he was impaled by a metal rod that burst through his windshield on westbound Interstate 580 early Wednesday morning. The pipe is called a "comealong." Terry McSweeney reports.

     
    The call came in early Wednesday morning  as a car up an embankment on Interstate Highway 580 westbound near Livermore. Soon it was clear, this was not just a crash.

    California Highway Patrol Officer Tyler Hahn explained, what many are calling a tragic and freak accident at Grant Line Road: "A metal pipe of sorts had gone through the front windshield of the car and struck the driver causing fatal injuries."

    RAW VIDEO: I-580 Driver Killed by Flying Pipe

    [BAY] RAW VIDEO: I-580 Driver Killed by Flying Pipe
    A man was killed when a metal pipe came crashing through his windshield as he drove on Interstate Highway 580 in the Livermore area this morning

    Out of seemingly nowhere a metal pipe flew through the windshield of his 2003 white Volvo XC70 and impaled him.

    The driver who died is , 33-year-old Michael Cox of Lodi, a father of three, a regional salesman for H-Wave, a manufacturer of external heart defibrillators.

    Investigators said it is possible that the pipe came off a truck, or it may have been lying in the road and was somehow kicked up. They said if it is determined that the pipe came from another vehicle, that driver could face charges regarding not properly securing their cargo.


    The metal that tore through his windshield is called  a "comealong." It's about three feet long, used by truckers to tighten straps that hold down cargo on the backs of flatbed trucks.

    Investigators said it is possible that the pipe came off a truck, or it may have been lying in the road and was somehow kicked up. They said if it is determined that the pipe came from another vehicle, that driver could face charges regarding not properly securing their cargo.

    Many truckers use these devices, including Mario Torres, who acknowledged he doesn't tamp his comealong down, but keeps it in the back because he doesn't want to lose it.

    But where did the metal come from that proved deadly on 580? The California Highway Patrol would like to know.

    "We have nothing right now. We have no idea if it came off a trailer or if it was laying on the road and was kicked up by another vehicle," Hahn said.

    CHP officer Matt Delamontanya  took us for a ride-along Wednesday evening. He has seen lots of debris on Bay area freeways and lots of damage too.

    " I've seen debris hitting the bumpers causing front end damage, tearing up the undercarriage of the car."

    By law, loads must be secured on trucks. But drivers following trucks can do their part too- keep their eyes on the road, and on up road, says Delamontanya.

    "Don't just see the car in front of you but 4, 5, 6 cars in front of you."

    Maybe nothing could have prevented Wednesday's fatal accident and we may never know, unless a witness comes forward, Hahn said.

    "That is a very well-traveled freeway that time of morning. We are hoping somebody saw something."

    Right now, investigators have nothing to go on.

    Anyone with information on the case is asked to call the CHP at (925) 828-0466 and ask for Hahn or Officer Azevedo.

    Bay City News contributed to this report.