TWO Warrnambool men have had a lucky escape after a rock bigger than a tennis ball became embedded in their windscreen near Nelson.
Ron Pickett, 73, said he was driving a Mitsubishi Express wagon out of Nelson on the Portland-Nelson Road with his son-in-law David Hanlon when the accident happened at 3.45pm on Monday.
He said a prime mover and semi-trailer was coming towards him when a large stone was slung out of the wheels, hurtled towards the van and lodging in the windscreen.
“I saw it coming. I don’t know if it was from between the back tyres or off the road,” Mr Pickett said.
“The truck would have been doing 100km/h and I was doing 80km/h because I was following a car.”
“It just smashed into the windscreen. I couldn’t stop because I was in the double lines winding section of road just coming out of Nelson.
“I pulled over about 1.5 kilometres down the road and we cleaned the glass out of the van.”
Mr Pickett said he and his son-in-law had been to South Australia for their fortnightly run to top-up vending machines.
“We were pretty lucky. I got a fright at the time but looking at it now, if the rock had hit a bit higher I would have been blinded by the shattered glass,” he said.
“The stone finished up half inside and half outside the windscreen. The first thing I remember after it hit was Dave saying: ‘Are you all right?’
“I finished up with scratches on my left hand where the glass hit me. I’m thinking about asking Dave for danger money now.”
Mr Pickett said the roads in Victoria were noticeably worse than roads in South Australia.
Mary Jenkins of Baudinette’s Windscreens in Warrnambool said the rock stuck in the windscreen caused plenty of comment when the glass was replaced on Tuesday.
“They were very lucky the rock didn’t come through. We’ve been in business 20 years but that’s the largest rock I’ve seen in a windscreen,” she said.