'I might not have come home': Flying ice injures Cobden man

'I might not have come home': Flying ice injures Cobden man

Martin Burger is hoping motorists will start clearing off their vehicles after a flying chunk of ice from an oncoming car left him bruised and bloodied Thursday evening. 

The Cobden, Ont., man and his 16-year-old son, Clark, were heading west on Highway 17 when several vehicles passed in the oncoming lane near the turnoff for Storyland Road.

Burger noticed a chunk of ice about 30 centimetres square and eight centimetres thick spinning through the air toward his Hondo Pilot.

"As I watched the ice come, heard it hit, saw the windshield shatter, I did not anticipate it coming through the windshield at all," he told CBC.

But the ice did smash through the glass, striking Burger square in the face.

Stu Mills/CBC

Burger somehow managed to maintain control of his SUV and steered it safely off the road. Paramedics arrived and transported him to Renfrew, Ont., for medical care. 

A large gash on the Burger's forehead required eight stitches, and he needed additional stitches on his right eyelid.

His right pupil is dilated to twice the size of his left one, but it's believed he'll make a full recovery, Burger said. 

Burger is thankful he was the one driving and not Clark, who recently received his beginner's licence.

He said he had considered giving his son some practice time behind the wheel as they passed Renfrew, but decided against it.

Photos taken soon after the incident show a triangular hole in his windshield. Burger has since found shards of glass all the way at the back of his SUV. Clark was unscathed. 

"He does mention once in a while that when he closes his eyes he replays the situation," Burger said. "But he is doing well. He'll be fine." 

Burger is hoping the incident will serve as a reminder to motorists to take a moment to clear ice and snow from their vehicles before hitting the road.

"I want to help prevent someone else from going through the same thing that I did," he said.

"I am very fortunate that I am actually here able to speak to you. It could have been a lot worse. I may not have come home."