WHEAT RIDGE, COLO. - There are enough road hazards to look out for while driving, without having to worry about the sky falling on you.
"I was going under I-70 and it fell down. Part of the Interstate fell down on my car," said an Arvada driver, who did not want to be identified for this story.
That driver was going north on Ward Road on Aug. 14, when something happened as she drove under I-70.
"I heard a loud crack, my windshield started coming into the cab, and I thought, 'what did I hit?'" she said. "This man drove up beside me and he said, 'The Interstate fell on you,' because I must have had that shocked look or something. He goes, 'The Interstate fell on you, pull over.'"
Large chunks of concrete landed on her Lexus SUV, crashing through her passenger side windshield, and shattering her back-passenger window.
"The officer couldn't believe that I was still alive," she said. "The rearview mirror was torn off and hit me in the head. The front passenger seat was destroyed."
That's where her dachshund, Sherman, was sitting. Normally, he hangs out in the back-passenger seat on a doggie bed. This time, she said, he was in the front seat and leapt to the back-driver's side right as the impact happened.
"Had he been in his bed, he would have been shredded from the glass," she said. "It is covered in glass from the shattered back window, as well as from the windshield."
She said her car is totaled and said that her insurance is handling everything for right now. Though, she doesn't want a car payment to replace her 14-year-old SUV.
"Who's responsible for the damage?" asked Next reporter Marshall Zelinger.
"The state of Colorado. CDOT," she said.
"Does the state owe you a new car?" asked Zelinger.
"I think so," she said. "The insurance company, of course, did their part. But it's not the insurance company's fault. It's the state's fault. They need to fix the bridges, they're falling apart."
CDOT said that the bridge itself is safe, and that the concrete broke off the overhang, comparing the damage to a pie crust, and not the pie itself.
"CDOT crews routinely monitor roads and found pieces of loose concrete on Ward Road under I-70 last week. We cleaned the debris and inspected where it fell from and determined the pieces came from the bridge overhang or edge of the bridge. We examined the overhang and found the edge to be stable. The bridge structure is safe," said CDOT spokeswoman Tamara Rollison. "The I-70 bridge deck over Ward Road is being repaired and resurfaced. CDOT has a schedule of roads and bridges to rehabilitate."
This driver, and anyone, can file a claim with the state, when you feel that the state is negligible and responsible for damage. Usually, drivers want to file a claim about damage from potholes, but in those cases, you must prove that someone had previously reported that pothole and that the state was negligent in fixing it in a timely manner.
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