Rock thrown from overpass shatters Los Molinos mother's windshield


LOS MOLINOS, Calif. - A Los Molinos family is grateful to be alive after someone threw a rock that shattered their windshield while they were driving on Interstate 5.

"I was going northbound of I-5 from Corning. I was between Solano and Finnell Road," Leslie Vanrooyen recounted. Frank Vanrooyen was in the backseat with his 5-year-old grandson while his daughter, Leslie, drove them home Saturday night.

"All of a sudden, BOOM!" said Frank.

"It sounded like an explosion, like a tire blowing out or something," said Leslie. "If you ever heard a tire blow, you get that big boom, and that's what it was, just this crash."

The rock hit the lower middle portion of the windshield, taking out part of the windshield wiper. Leslie Vanrooyen said it was the size of a half a brick and she was just 10 minutes from home. "Scared the daylights out of me."

Fortunately, she didn't swerve and made it home before even getting out to assess the damage. "If I would've served, we could've wrecked and with my dad and my kid," Vanrooyen said, holding back tears.

Both Leslie and Frank said if the rock would've hit just a few inches higher, it could've taken out the entire windshield, making it nearly impossible for Leslie not to react. "If it would've been anywhere up here, I think it would've imploded," Frank said.

The Vanrooyen's said it was too dark to see any potential suspect, but when they called the Red Bluff California Highway Patrol to report what happened, they were told this was the second report within the hour and in that same area.

"There's no reason for it. You're going to get your rocks off, by hurting someone else? Shame on you," said Leslie.

The Red Bluff CHP said it sent a patrol car to the area, but no one was found. Leslie said she's not very optimistic the culprit or culprits will ever be caught, but she wants to warn the community anyway.

"Keep an eye out," she said. "If you hear some kids goofing, talking about 'oh look what we, we were doing this or we were doing that.' You know, maybe someone will hear it. Maybe it won't happen to somebody else."

Anyone with more information about this incident or others like it is asked to call Red Bluff CHP at 530-527-2034.

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