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Unsecured furniture smashes driver's windshield after falling off pickup truck in Polk County

Posted at 7:33 AM, May 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-13 07:35:15-04

POLK COUNTY, Fla. — The driver of a pickup truck is wanted after unsecured furniture flew off the truck and smashed through a woman's windshield in Central Florida.

Sindee DiBenedetto was driving on Highway 60 East around 5 p.m. on Tuesday near Mulberry, Florida, when it happened.

"He was passing me. He was in a white pickup truck and I saw that he had a lot of furniture that was not secure. That's the first thing I thought. Wow, he has some nice stuff on there that's not secure, it looks like grandma’s hutch. The next thing I knew that hutch was flying at me," said DiBenedetto.

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DiBenedetto said the hutch smashed her windshield and sent glass into her vehicle. She said chairs also flew off the truck.

"Seeing in my rear view mirror, it hit the ground behind me and shattered, and a bunch of cars were also trying to avoid getting hit," she said.

According to a crash report, the driver of the truck appeared to slow down, but then took off. Polk County deputies believe the truck may have been a white Chevy or GMC pickup.

"Even if I had a passenger, one of my grandbabies or one of my daughters, someone could have gotten killed and that makes me angry more than scared," she said.

Florida law states every driver has the duty to prevent materials they are hauling from falling, blowing or in any way escaping from their vehicle.

Failure to secure loads on vehicles may result in a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a non-moving violation.

"Secure your loads, it's not that hard ... and it's not that expensive," said DiBenedetto.

Paramedics treated DiBenedetto on scene for several cuts.

"Small cuts and bleeding, my pants that I had on had to be thrown away cause they were covered in blood," she said.

She feels fortunate to be alive. She knows in similar crashes, drivers have not been so lucky.

"All I could picture all day long was how easily I could have been killed during that," she said.