SEATTLE — Vehicle dashcam video caught an I-90 rock-thrower in the act as four more cars were hit by debris on I-90 Sunday evening.
“I was like, ‘Great, I’m one of those, great, I’m one of those people on the news,’” said Jamie Bengston as he stood on a sidewalk near his home in downtown Seattle.
His car is in a parking garage a few blocks away.
“I’ve got a huge dent in the front, it’s caved in my bumper,” said Bengston. “The thing that makes me angry is I have a brand-new vehicle, it’s less than a week old, I don’t even have plates on it yet.”
In an attempt to protect his new purchase, Bengston bought a high definition front and rearview dashcam system. He didn’t think he would need to use it so soon.
He was driving westbound on I-90 near the I-5 exit Sunday afternoon when he heard a loud noise and felt something hit his car.
His first reaction was to focus on the road and try not to crash.
Then, he checked the camera footage. From the front, you can see a man run out of the bushes to the edge of the cement barrier off the shoulder of the freeway, then you see him wind up and throw the rock right at Jamie’s car.
“Frankly, (I was) just trying to maintain in the moment, not to cause an accident,” he said.
When he checked the rearview camera, he quickly learned he was not the only car that had been hit.
“The guy behind me got his windshield blown out,” Bengston added.
His car was one of four damaged by thrown debris Sunday, all occurring in the same area on I-90.
According to Washington State Patrol (WSP), the new reports contribute to the more than 180 incidents that have occurred on major thoroughfares in King County since April.
In response, WSP has upped their presence, increasing operations on the ground and in the sky.
Despite the agency’s best efforts, each week more cases are reported.
“To be honest, I don’t know why at this point, the state patrol is not camping out there,” Bengston said. “This is not the first time we’ve seen the video footage of the bicycles and the scooters going off the overpasses. I mean, what is it going to take?”
Seattle fire was called to treat two of the other drivers for minor injuries.
Jamie was uninjured. Still, he can’t help but wonder what could have happened.
“The vehicle can be fixed, it’s a machine, it can be fixed at the end of the day, though somebody is going to get severely hurt,” Bengston said. “If this rock had hit me on a motorcycle, I wouldn’t be speaking with you today. I’d probably be dead.”
“I understand it’s a difficult situation. I’m not naïve to what’s happening, but clearly this is not getting better, this is getting worse,” he added.
WSP is using the Jamie’s dashcam video to help identify the rock-thrower. The agency said troopers are actively searching for the person responsible.
This story is developing.
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