RICE HILL, Ore. — Two University of Oregon track athletes are recovering after someone threw a rock through their windshield while they were driving on I-5 Monday night.
The accident happened near Rice Hill, and Oregon State Police are still looking for the person responsible.
This wasn’t a small rock. OSP says it was larger than a baseball.
Troopers in the Roseburg area believe someone threw it off of an overpass and it came through the windshield, hitting the driver, Molly Grabill, in the face.
Passenger Chris Brewer grabbed the steering wheel but couldn’t get control of the vehicle. The car went onto the shoulder, back onto the freeway and then came to a stop.
Emergency crews rushed both to Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend. Brewer was released for his crash-related injuries. As of Tuesday morning, Grabill was still in the hospital.
“We had some incidents several years ago up in the Portland area, which is what prompted ODOT and the legislature to put up fences along those overpasses. Somebody had to make quite an effort to get a rock over the fence. This overpass is fenced,” said Lt. Doug Ladd, Oregon State Police.
Both victims should make a full recovery. At this point troopers say it appears to be a random attack.
Investigators need your help on this one. If you can help identify who may have done this around 10:40 p.m. Monday near the Isadore Road overpass, call OSP Detective Tom Willis at (541) 440-3334 or the OSP Southern Command Center dispatch at (541) 440-3333.
The University of Oregon Head Track and Field Coach Robert Johnson released this statement about the accident:
“The most import thing is that we are grateful Molly and Chris are going to be alright. We’re a tight-knit, family oriented team and this has been a real shock for all of us. The outcome could have been much worse. Our team has rallied around Molly and Chris and I’m so proud to see them all being there for their teammates and doing whatever they can to help. We will continue to support Molly and Chris and we ask for all of TrackTown to pray for a speedy recovery.”
University of Director of Athletics Rob Mullens released this statement:
“It is difficult to comprehend when a random act such as this one happens to anyone, let alone members of our athletic family. Our thoughts and prayers are with Molly and Chris for a speedy recovery. They have the wonderful support of family, friends, teammates and coaches and we are very thankful both are expected to recover. I urge anyone with information on this incident to please come forward and contact the Oregon State Police so that no one else gets hurt.”