Veteran impaled by tripod thrown from overpass; hospitalized with pierced lung

An Army veteran got lucky Thursday when a tripod stolen from a California Department of Transportation crew smashed through the windshield of the van he was in and pierced his lung. A few inches to the left and it would have stabbed him in the heart.

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El Dorado Veteran Resources volunteer van driver Tim Page said it's amazing that both he and his unnamed passenger survived, Page told KCRA-TV.

The pair was driving on Interstate 5 around 10:30 a.m. when suddenly the CalTran tripod crashed through the van’s windshield stabbing the vet in the chest.

"It was like a dream, for lack of a better description," Page said, according to KCRA. "It was very scary. And of course, seeing it with no blood spurting out was great, but at the same time, injuries don't always have blood."

Page, who was able to pull over to the side of the road with the tripod sticking out of the van’s front window, said it stabbed his passenger in the chest, piercing his lung and breaking several ribs, before popping out, but the victim didn’t even want him to call 911.

Investigators used surveillance cameras near the freeway overpass to find and identify the suspect as 32-year-old Matthew Adam Thompson. Thompson was arrested and is facing charges.

The victim was hospitalized for treatment of his injuries.

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