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Marine's lucky escape after rock was thrown from motorway bridge
IT could have killed us.
Those are the words of a Royal Marine after a rock thrown off a motorway bridge smashed through the roof of his car.
Corporal AJ Orchard was driving at night on the M3 through Hampshire when the large stone crashed through the sunroof into the back of his Renault Megane.
As reported yesterday, the rock, which measured four inches by three inches, is thought to have been hurled from the bridge carrying the A27 over the motorway at Chilworth.
Luckily it missed AJ and his partner, who were travelling to the Midlands to meet friends.
AJ, from Charminster, Bournemouth, kept his cool and even managed to avoid swerving into other traffic, which he puts down to serving in Afghanistan.
Police are now investigating and have appealed to anyone who saw the incident to contact them. The 27-year-old told the Daily Echo: “It could have easily killed us.
“I was overtaking a lorry and it came out of nowhere and the roof literally shattered and glass was everywhere inside.
“We pulled over and my missus found the stone in the back.
“It was the size of two fists and too big to have been a chip off the road.
“I realised it must have been thrown.
“Luckily we had the sunroof curtain over and it caught most of the glass.
“Imagine if it had come through the windscreen at 70mph, or if it had come through the sunroof and knocked me out and I had gone out of control and crashed – it could have caused a pile up.
“I don’t know what was going through the head of whoever did this.
“If you are going to throw a rock like that off a bridge you must know it could do damage.
“It is not going to ping off.”
A Hampshire police spokesman said: “It is highly dangerous and it could cause a serious accident.
“Anyone who does it will also find themselves having to face the consequences of their actions.”
Anyone with information about the incident, which happened at about 8pm on Friday, January 4, can contact PC Mike Duke at Eastleigh police station on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.