SALEM COUNTY, N.J. (CBS) — An elderly man was critically injured after a 50-pound dumbbell crashed through his SUV windshield Monday morning on the New Jersey Turnpike.
It happened around 7: 18 a.m. near mile marker 6.3 south in Oldmans Township.
New Jersey State Police say 75-year-old Jack DeCarlo of Hamilton Township, New Jersey, lost control, left the turnpike and crashed into the woods after the 50-pound dumbbell smashed through the window and struck him in the head.
DeCarlo was transported to Crozer-Chester Medical Center and has undergone surgery.
His wife, Patricia DeCarlo, was also in the vehicle. She was not injured. The couple was traveling to Myrtle Beach at the time of the accident.
She told CBS 3’s Joe Holden that she’s numb following the accident.
She said they were heading south and were just shy of the Delaware Memorial Bridge when the dumbbell shattered the windshield.
Jim DeCarlo, their son, avoided speculating if someone threw the dumbbell from an overpass, but said he’s “shocked” by the incident.
“We don’t know if somebody intentionally did it. It’s a freak thing, it’s a shame,” he said. “I couldn’t believe it, shocked. You never think something like that is gonna happen.”
Police have not said where they believe the dumbbell came from, but they did search a nearby overpass for any possible evidence. A state police source said it’s very possible the weight was tossed from there.
Throwing a 50-pound dumbbell is no easy task, though. Frank Calandrino, who owns Level One Fitness in Philadelphia, said a 50-pound weight wouldn’t just fall off a vehicle in the wind.
“It wouldn’t have been just little kids pranking, it had to have been pretty strong teenagers,” he said. The tall fence above the overpass makes it an even tougher task for someone to attempt. Calandrino said it’s a miracle the victim survived the impact.
DeCarlo’s son said his father, an ex-prison guard, is a fighter and the family is optimistic he’ll pull through. They say he’s resting comfortably.
“He’s still in critical condition and we won’t know more until tomorrow,” DeCarlo said.
Troopers are now looking for any eyewitnesses who may have been something on the turnpike.
Chopper 3 showed tire marks left by the car after the impact when the DiCarlos’ SUV veered off the highway, immediately after crossing below an overpass.
Police are still investigating.