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Motorist’s close-call with 2×4 sparks reminder of the importance of secured loads


A woman is thanking her lucky stars after a passing semi lost a 2×4, sending it crashing through her windshield just inches from her face. 

The incident occurred on Tuesday morning, October 5th in Johnson County, Indiana. 

According to Barbara Noble, the motorist involved in the incident, she was on her daily drive to work along the 1400 block of W. 500 N. Road in Whiteland when her windshield shattered. 

“I was just driving on the Whiteland road. It’s very dark, it’s very narrow, there are no lights out there,” said Noble. “I thought, ‘Oh here comes a semi coming through pretty quickly, his lights are very bright.’”

“As soon as that [oncoming] semi was even with me, then it just went, bam,” said Noble. “The 2×4 shot off his truck and just went through my windshield. I can’t even tell you how loud it was.”

“Next thing you know she was making friends with a 2×4 through her windshield,” said Michael Pruitt, deputy chief of the Bargersville Fire Department.

Thankfully, Noble was able to slow down and pull over onto the side of the road safely before contacting police. 

“The semi took off. I’m sure he probably didn’t know he almost killed someone with a 2×4,” Noble continued. “I wasn’t following him. This wasn’t a case of following too closely and something slid, it was— it was going two different ways. It’s dangerous no matter how you look at it, very dangerous to not secure your loads”

“I just was covered in glass. Every square centimeter was covered in glass from the dash to the cargo area.”

A short while later, a deputy located the semi truck hauling 2x4s and notified him of the incident. The trucker told police that he had not loaded the trailer himself and had not realized anything had come off of it. The truck driver is not facing charges. 

While Noble did get some glass in her eye during the ordeal, she walked away from the incident mostly unharmed, and her family and friends are incredibly thankful. 

“I’m so thankful and blessed that I walked away from it with, you know, very little injury,” she said to Fox 59. “It was a miracle, actually.”

“There are a lot of family and friends that I have who would be very upset if it had been two or three inches to the left,” said Noble. “I would be gone right now so they would be mourning, but I’m here so let’s make something of it let’s do something with this.”

“I have seen over the years individuals that weren’t so lucky when something came through the windshield and struck them,” said Pruitt.

“We drive down the road every day. We see loads on trucks and we also see those individuals who have packed everything that they own in the back of a pickup truck, it’s completely overloaded,” he said.

“Truck drivers are focused on the road ahead and not necessarily what’s going on behind them, so they may lose something and strike a vehicle and not even know about it,” Pruitt continued. 

Noble said she didn’t fully react to the situation until an officer arrived to help her and was shocked himself. While waiting for them to arrive, Noble told dispatch “Would you please get here? I’m covered in glass and afraid to move.”

“As soon as the first officer came, and I rolled down my window that’s when it hit me,” she continued, “because his reaction to what he saw with that 2×4 next to me and through my windshield was, ‘If he thinks it’s that bad — it must be that bad.’”

“There are a lot of things that go through my mind, but mostly I just want to make sure that something is learned from this,” she said.

“Obviously she had an angel riding on her shoulder and if there was anything such as a lottery ticket or anything that you want to bet on, this will be the time to do it,” said Pruitt.

Noble hopes her story will remind motorists and truck drivers to check that their loads are thoroughly secure before hitting the road. 


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