Two Brisbane mums were terrified and lucky to escape unharmed when an object dropped from a bridge on the M1 motorway smashing their car's windscreen and covering their children in shattered glass.
Friends Rebecca Hardwidge, 39, and Natasha Wright, 34, both from Carindale, Brisbane, were driving north on the M1 on Sunday when an object fell from a pedestrian overpass in Beenleigh, smashing the windscreen and bringing the car to a halt.
Ms Wright said she was driving at a speed of roughly 100km/h when they heard a loud bang. Ms Hardwidge was in the passenger seat and their daughters, Stella, 18 months and Zali, 11, were in the back.
"It was the loudest noise, I really can’t describe how loud it was. We thought there’d been an explosion to be completely honest," Ms Hardwidge told Yahoo News Australia.
The mum said there was "so much damage" to the windscreen which had shattered from the object that had hit it.
"We instantly looked back at the girls who were sprayed in glass, we all were," she said. "It was so scary."
'Never forget the sheer terror'
Ms Hardwidge said it happened so quickly but they remained calm and managed not to swerve into the next lane before pulling over about two kilometres down the road.
"I glanced back and saw that we had just driven under the Beenleigh pedestrian overpass," she said. They concluded someone had deliberately thrown something.
Ms Wright said she will "never forget the sheer terror on our daughter's faces". She had to brush off glass from their girl's laps and ensure they weren't injured.
"We were lucky to escape physically unharmed," she said.
On pulling over into the emergency lane on the busy highway, another car swiftly pulled in behind them.
Ms Hardwidge said it was two young men, around 20 years old, and they'd also been hit.
"They were as shocked and shaken as we were," she said.
The two men called a friend of theirs who was driving just ahead. They'd apparently witnessed something fall from the bridge as well, but they managed to escape any damage.
Ms Hardwidge said they called the police and Ms Wright's insurer, but they remained stranded on the side of the highway for almost two hours until a tow truck came.
"My daughter was just so confused. She was sobbing hysterically. We didn't know what to do," she said.
Ms Wright told Yahoo News Australia that she "saw my life flash before my eyes," and three days later, she's still shaken up.
To make matters worse the car's sunroof was open so "a millisecond later and the baby would have been directly hit by the object."
At least three other cars hit on M1: 'Ongoing issue'
When the tow truck finally came, the women were supposedly told by Harvey's Towing the same thing happened earlier that day.
Ms Hardwidge said she and her friend are both "so angry" because despite the bridge being a "known hotspot" nothing's being done.
A spokesperson for Queensland Police told Yahoo News Australia they received a report from a man the day before, on Saturday.
"A man has reported to police he was travelling north-bound on the Pacific Motorway, when a person threw a large rock at the front windscreen of his vehicle as he approached the overpass," they said.
Like Ms Hardwidge and Ms Wright, the man was able to pull over safely and have his car towed.
Luckily, Ms Wright's windscreen is covered by insurance, but if it wasn't she'd be looking at $1960, she said.
The baby's car seat also needs to be replaced which will cost around $590.
"We are beyond grateful that all four of us escaped unscathed but really don’t want it to happen to anyone else," Ms Hardwidge said.
Warning for others
Ms Wright shared what happened on Facebook as a warning to others.
"Please keep an eye out for anyone doing the wrong thing on this pedestrian bridge and report them to the police," she wrote.
While they didn't see who was on the bridge at the time, they're convinced an object was "deliberately thrown".
But without the proof, Ms Hardwidge said nothing can be done.
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