This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2010, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
With his arm still in a sling, Alema Harrington the host of Utah Jazz pre- and post-game shows told Friday how three weeks ago he was driving on I-15 in Murray when a 25-pound piece of metal debris came flying through his windshield.
"It hit me in the arm," he said. "Glass flew all over the place." His arm was broken and he was bleeding heavily from glass shards in his face and shoulder.
A 911 call records him screaming in pain as he looked at the blood. "I don't know if I can make it," he told the operator.
He did make it, and on Friday he helped the Utah Department of Transportation warn drivers about the dangers of not securing loads properly especially during fall cleanup.
He held up the debris that hit him, which looks like part of a truck brake drum, and said, "I'm fortunate to be alive, and there's plenty of people that have lost their lives on the freeway because somebody didn't secure their load."
Harrington stood in front of a large pile of items that UDOT officials said they had picked up along I-15 and I-80 during the last week in Salt Lake County. It included ladders, mattresses, chairs, cribs, shopping carts and some new axles for semitrucks. Officials said they found a pallet of those axles that had fallen off a truck.
"When the weather starts to change like it has this last week, we often see more and more people start to transport stuff like this," said UDOT spokeswoman Tania Mashburn. "Mostly it's for fall cleanup, but in a lot of cases it's people trying to move before winter hits."
Nile Easton, another UDOT spokesman, warned, "Just because you throw something in the back of a truck doesn't mean it will stay there."
UDOT urged drivers to take extra time to secure loads. They suggest using rope, straps or chains especially those with a type of anchor instead of bungee cords, twine and string. They recommend using zip ties to secure tarps to vehicles or trailers.
UDOT has posted a video of Harrington describing his experience including pictures of his car and the debris that hit it at http://www.litterhurts.utah.gov (click on the "advertising" button). The site also contains suggestions about securing loads.