‘So scary’: Mississauga driver recounts moment when shovel hit car on Highway 403

It started as a routine ride for Komal Syed.

“I went on Winston Churchill’s 403,” the Mississauga resident told CTV News Toronto. “I just had two… exits to take.”

It was just before 11 a.m. Monday and Syed was on his way to an appointment. She says she saw a white sedan pulling into the lane in front of her, causing her to slow down. Then she noticed that there was something strange about the car.

“The bumper started to move. And I was like, okay, looks like the bumper is coming off. And the next thing I hear – a crash.”

Highway 403 incidentThat crash was not caused by a bumper, but by a shovel that flew through her windshield just inches from her face.

“I honestly don’t know where the shovel came from,” Syed said. “As far as I remember, the bumper moved. The bumper seemed to come off, but it didn’t. What ended up in my car was a shovel.”

Syed says that the moment she managed to stay relatively calm.

“I turned around and saw this shovel in my windshield and I realized that, okay, this is pretty big,” she said with a slight chuckle. “I mean, I clearly screamed and I must have panicked, but luckily I didn’t swerve.”

Syed stopped at the side of the road and examined the damage. A video with a mobile phone she made at the time shows the extent of the damage. She said she didn’t even realize she was covered in broken glass until a tow truck driver who had stopped to help pointed it out.

Now telling the story with a nervous laugh, she says she didn’t realize until much later how different the incident could have been had the shovel hit the windshield in a different place.

Spade“When I shared it the next day and I repeated what had happened, it dawned on me that it could have been anywhere.”

Syed says she drove the same route the next morning to allay any safety fears. And says she has a message for other highway drivers in hopes that others don’t have to go through what she’s got.

“If someone enters the highway with tools or equipment, make sure it is properly secured. Because this is just so… so scary.”