Metal cargo smashes through SUV's windshield

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

It may sound cliché, but a driver of an SUV is lucky to be alive after a load of corrugated metal sheets smashed through his windshield.

Apparently, the driver the SUV rear-ended the flat-bed truck carrying an extended load.

It happened at approximately 7 a.m. on Thursday on southbound Interstate 17 between Glendale Avenue and Bethany Home Road.

"This is what I'm calling the miracle on I-17," said Bruce Haffner in the news helicopter.

The driver was able to walk out of the SUV as paramedics helped him to a stretcher.

"The injuries do not appear to be life-threatening," Trooper Kameron Lee with the Arizona Dept. of Public Safety, said in an email.

The driver did sustain serious head injuries and his left eye was bandaged as paramedics helped him on the scene.

The crash blocked the HOV and the left lane of the interstate for much of the morning commute.

Valley Towing removed the SUV and hauled it to their yard on north 16th Street in Phoenix. 

Matthew Hall, of Valley Towing, has been in the business for many years. He said he has seen horrific crashes and mangled vehicles. But even he was surprised when he saw the SUV's windshield smashed in two, that the driver survived. 

"The guy should buy a lottery ticket, definitely. Or say a whole lot of prayers his God. He's very lucky to be alive," said Hall. 

It appears the steel sheets went all the way through to the driver's side headrest. There was a lot of blood inside the cargo and on the driver's side running board. 

"His back bumper hit the back bumper of the truck. So if it wouldn't of hit the truck's bumper, he probably would have lost his head or a lot more. Either way, he'd probably be dead right now because it would have gone farther on back. I mean, like I say, it stopped right at the headrest," said Hall.

According to Hall, there was a German shepherd in the SUV that was not hurt. 

DPS has not released the name of the driver. They also confirm they have not issued any citations in the accident. But the investigation is ongoing. 

[Google Map: Interstate 17 and Bethany Home Road]

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