Close call: Man manages to avoid injury after assailants throw rocks at truck
MEADOWVIEW - A Meadowview man considers himself lucky to be alive after at least three unknown assailants threw rocks - one the size of a grapefruit - at his Kenworth tractor, with one rock making its way through the front windshield and into the cab, while he was traveling to work between Ringtown and Shenandoah Heights at approximately 1:30 a.m. Monday.
The incident comes nearly four weeks after an Ohio woman was left fighting for her life after teenagers dropped a rock from an Interstate 80 overpass near Danville, striking her in the head.
Ray Ebersole said he was driving north on Route 924, approximately .5 miles north of state Route 4033 in West Mahaony Township, on his way to pick up a haul at Freedom Corrugated, near Hazleton, when a young man in a light blue T-shirt ran onto the road and waved his arms wildly.
Ebersole slowed, thinking there was an emergency, but the man dashed back into the trees.
Moments later, he heard a loud crash as a rock came through the passenger side of his windshield. Weighing approximately 3 pounds, it landed between Ebersole's feet.
"It scared the hell out of me," he said from his Shamokin Township home Monday afternoon.
Two other rocks smashed a side window of the truck cab and dented the air cleaner. The impacts are at least eight feet in the air and Ebersole estimates he was driving at approximately the 55 mph speed limit on the road.
At least three assailants, of unknown age, disappeared into the woods on two ATVs, said Ebersole, who wasn't injured.
Ebersole said state police from the Frackville barracks were called to the scene but were unable to locate the perpetrators.
'Going to kill somebody'
Ebersole said when he stopped to survey the damage, he saw stones littering the road as if the assailants had attempted to strike other vehicles before him.
"They're going to kill somebody," he said.
He's unsure at this point what it will cost to repair the damage to his truck, but he knows he's out at least $700 in lost wages.
His entire windshield will likely need replaced, which could cost several hundred dollars.
"It's a specialty item," he said.
Ebersole hopes someone with information will notify police so the rock-throwers can be caught and he can receive restitution.
"It's wrong, and I want these people to pay for it," he said.
Ebersole's wife, Kelly, said she feels lucky that she wasn't riding in the passenger seat, as she sometimes does, because she likely would have been hit in the head.
"It's terrible that you can't even go to work without dodging rocks," she said. "I'm just thankful that he wasn't hurt."
Ebersole said he's equally as wary after the incident. After five years of driving that road to work, he'll be going another way in the future.
"I'm going to stay away from that area," he said.
Anyone with information is asked to call state police at Frackville at 570-874-5300.