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Concrete crashes on car on Lower Lake Shore Drive

Updated: June 13, 2012 3:04PM

A 67-year-old motorist says he’s lucky to be alive after a 30-pound piece of concrete crashed down onto his windshield Sunday afternoon on Lower Lake Shore Drive.

Tom Driscoll said he was driving north on Lower Lake Shore Drive when concrete fell from above onto the roof and windshield of his 2002 Hyundai Accent between Illinois and Randolph Streets.

“Suddenly there was a large explosion, and it wasn’t like being hit by a car or something like that … it was like being hit by RPG [rocket-propelled grenade],” the Vietnam veteran said. “It was a large impact that shook the whole car.”

The piece of concrete — about 20 inches long, 18 inches wide and 2 inches thick — shattered the upper corner of the driver’s side windshield and sent shards of glass into Driscoll’s eyes, he said.

Driscoll said there were no other cars around and after drifting to the left he was able to regain control of the car and pull over on the right side of the road, where Chicagoans and tourists asked if he was OK.

“If I had been one millisecond slower the falling piece of cement would have fallen through the windshield and I wouldn’t be alive,” Driscoll said.

Driscoll said he called police numerous times and it took one hour and five minutes for officers to arrive. By that time, the large chunk of debris had been run over by passing vehicles and had broken into smaller pieces.

A witness who works for Sun-Times Media confirmed Driscoll’s story.

“If you look up on upper on Lake Shore Drive directly above where this happened there are many, many, many sections of cement that have fallen though,” Driscoll said. “This could have killed me or killed somebody else. For all the people that are under there, this is a tremendous safety problem.”

A spokesman from the city’s Department of Transportation could not be reached Monday, but told CBS 2 the department was unaware of the incident and would look into it.

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