When Manassas, Virginia residents find themselves in the unfortunate situation of a car accident, they generally expect that local authorities will take charge of the scene. While this is very often the case, sometimes the victim of a car accident or truck accident may have to pursue other avenues for help after an incident, as a recent accident demonstrated.

A motorist was driving on I-295 through Mechanicsville recently when he received a terrifying surprise: a tree limb crashing through his front windshield. The driver just missed being impaled on the large branch, which collided with the front driver’s side of his vehicle, and which he believed originated from a semi truck.

Fortunately, an eyewitness came forward after a local news team requested help from anyone who may have viewed the frightening scene. The witness dialed 911 as the accident happened. However, the witness expressed surprise that help from the state police did not arrive sooner. The witness gave the license plate number of the truck to authorities, and even flagged down the truck’s driver to let him know debris was spewing off his truck. It wasn’t until an appeal was made to the local media, though, that police showed efforts towards a thorough investigation.

According to the crucial eyewitness, at the time of the accident, the highway was littered with debris and leaves that were forcing drivers to slow down on the busy interstate. He was scared when he saw the tree branch hit the other driver, since it could have easily caused serious injury to the driver or his passengers. Despite extensive rules and regulations requiring secure cargo, negligence can still occur when the items a truck carries fly off and hit another vehicle. Even if police fail to respond promptly, the pursuit of a civil personal injury or wrongful death suit can move forward immediately.

Source: NBC 12, “Tree limbs from truck causes accident, witness steps forward,” Diane Walker, Aug. 22, 2013