PLANO, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – A Plano man was killed in a bizarre accident on U.S. 75 Tuesday afternoon when a commercial vehicle’s suspension spring bounced off his hood and pierced his windshield, according to police.
Investigators with the Plano Police Department are now trying to figure out where it came from.
Drivers witnessed a white Toyota Camry hit the concrete divider, cross four lanes of traffic, and come to a rest on a grassy median.
Officers arrived to find the windshield broken and the driver, Paul Chau, 57, of Plano, seriously injured. He later died at a hospital.
Plano Police spokesperson, Officer David Tilley, says the department believes the commercial suspension leaf spring found at the scene either came off a truck or out of the back of one hauling auto parts.
He says it also may have come directly from a truck driving in front of Chau or fallen onto the highway and bounced up when another vehicle ran over it.
“We’re just trying to get answers,” said Officer Tilley. “We’re looking at this as a very unfortunate tragic accident.”
Ennis Brooks, the manager at the Pronto Muffler and Brake along U.S. 75, found a surveillance camera captured video of what appeared to be Chau’s car on the shop’s surveillance video, after he lost control of it.
“The one car was going faster than all the rest of them,” he said, pointing to a white sedan moving quickly along the median.
As it disappears from the camera’s view, the traffic behind it appears to react.
“Everybody is starting to slow down now,” said Brooks.
He showed CBS 11 what a leaf spring looks like, bolted in several places to the underside of a pickup.
A heavy piece of metal, it stretches two to three feet. The type used on commercial vehicles are even bigger.
“I doubt this would come off of a car, maybe it would come out of the back of a car or truck,” said Brooks. “I would think if anything it’d come off of a trailer.
Officer Tilley says if drivers spot hazardous debris in the road, they should call 911.
Officers can block traffic and remove it safely. They would rather respond to that call, he said, than an accident.