12 ON YOUR SIDE: Man nearly killed by tree limb looking for witnesses

MECHANICSVILLE, VA (WWBT) - A Mechanicsville man narrowly escapes injury and possibly death after a large tree limb smashed his windshield, pierced the dashboard and got stuck behind his steering column.

It happened while he was driving on interstate 295, where the speed limit is 70. David Dalton says the tree limb flew off a truck in front of him.

He doesn't have a description.

He says it was a scary, close call that took him by surprise, but he knows there are witnesses who were driving in lanes next to him when it happened.

David says the large branch hit his headlight, busted it and flipped over the hood into his windshield like a spear.

He had both hands on the wheel as he signaled to take the Creighton Road exit from I-295 last Tuesday and says he's glad he had a good grip. He could have taken somebody else out had he lost control.

"I went to look in this mirror and I got over as I looked straight ahead there was a boom and I kind of just ducked," said David. "It could have very easily killed me."

The 1998 Pontiac Bonneville has liability insurance only, and now a busted speedometer, front lights and maybe damage behind the steering column.

David drove home with a tree limb sticking out his windshield. That's good and bad. Bad he left the scene of the accident.

"I should have waited," said David. "I was scared and nobody else was stopping and I really wanted to get home."

David says he waited on the side of the road for about five minutes. He didn't have a cell phone and no one stopped.

Good he made it home to his wife and kids.

"It could have speared through him, like it speared through that dashboard," said Holly Dalton, David's wife.

"Oh, I prayed the whole time I drove home, I said 'thank you God,'" said David.

Witnesses - that's what he needs now. People who were on 295 Tuesday and saw David almost impaled by a log, to step up and tell what they saw... and maybe the person responsible will have a conscience.

"He probably didn't know it, but the witness pulled him over two or three miles down and then he knew."

That driver says it wasn't him - several tree companies hauled debris on 295 after the storm.

David needs that gutsy witness who flagged down the truck but didn't give authorities their name, or any other witnesses to call State Police.

"I just need somebody to stand up and help me get it fixed," said David. "He's going to work about his everyday work like nothing's happened and I'm stuck having to find a ride to work and find a ride home. It's just been a pain."

State troopers say without witnesses, David is out of luck. If you witnessed the accident on I-295, Tuesday of last week, around 5:30 p.m., call State Police at 674-2000. Then call 12, at 345-1212.

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