Father, daughter recover after chunk of ice flies through windsh - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Father, daughter recover after chunk of ice flies through windshield

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UPDATE (WKOW) -- What started as a usual drive down Highway 33, quickly turned unusual and terrifying for a father and daughter after a giant piece of ice broke through their windshield. 

It happened Monday morning around 11 a.m. as Michael Belton and his daughter, Mirabella, were running errands. They were driving in one direction when they passed a vehicle driving in the opposite direction. 

"It was some sort of SUV. We saw the snow kind of flip off the roof and, within a second, it's sitting in our laps," Belton recalled. 

He said it all happened so fast. 

"It was like a bomb went off or, you know, like a gun was shot," he said as he remembered the loud sound. 

The chunk of snow and ice, that was about an inch thick according to Belton, shattered the windshield and hit seven-year-old Mirabella in the face as she sat in a car seat in the back. 

"You immediately hear the screams of your child which sends the dad instincts into motion," Belton said. 

Thankfully, both father and daughter were OK. Mirabella survived with a few cuts and bruises to her face. 

However, deputies with the Columbia County Sheriff's Office say it could have ended differently. 

"They're lucky, it could have been a significant injury," said Lt. Wayne Smith. 

It's why authorities are now warning drivers about removing snow and ice off the roof of your car. 

"Heavy, wet snow and ice has some considerable weight to it and then at highway speeds it's a significant impact," said Smith. 

According to state law, the windshield, side wings and side and rear windows of a motor vehicle shall be kept reasonably clean at all times. The fine is 175.30 and 2 points a second violation within a year is 213.10 and 2 points.

Smith said another statute requires a vehicle's load to be maintained or locked down, and although it's not something you would think about, ice and snow carried on top of a car could be counted as a vehicle's load. 

The Belton's family car took the hardest hit.

"It's a brand new Toyota, less than two months old, 5,000 miles on it," said Belton. 

In addition to the shattered windshield, the car suffered a busted bumper and broken headlight. But those are things Belton said can be replaced. His daughter, can't. 

"It certainly could have been more damaging to her. Praise God it was all good. 

The driver of the SUV didn't stop. Deputies say the driver likely didn't even know what happened as he or she was driving in the opposite direction. 


PORTAGE (WKOW) -- Authorities are reminding all drivers to clear snow and ice from vehicles before driving after they say snow and ice from the roof of one car shattered another vehicle's windshield, injuring a driver and a child. 

The Columbia County Sheriff's Office says drivers should make sure their car roof, windows, mirrors and hood are all clear before driving after a snow or ice storm, or face fines. 

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