BY: Rebecca Roberts
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (KPLR) - Motorists traveling through East St. Louis in Illinois should take extra precaution. Several victims say large rocks thrown at their vehicles on I-64 have turned nightly commutes into nightmares.
It's been a rocky road for Fairview Heights resident Cheri Hutchings, after several rocks rattled her brand new truck. Gesturing to her damaged pick-up, she explains, "It was actually wedged in there, it was sticking out of the radiator.” She adds, "I was driving down 64 East At about 8:30pm last night, and I thought it was a meteor shower because there were rocks flying everywhere and they were hitting all over my truck."
She soon realized it wasn't a meteor shower, but young men who picked up rocks from the highway median on I-64 between the 3rd Street/St. Clair Avenue and 25th Street exits, and threw them at drivers like Hutchings. She says, "The state police told me this has been going on for over a week."
Kim S., who didn't want to give her full name for safety reasons, also found herself in the wrong place in the wrong time. She explains, "I was just driving and I saw somebody come out of the grassy median in the middle and I thought to myself, why would he cross right here? But then I saw something really big and white in his hand, and he just chucked it toward my car."
Now, she fears driving along that route since she knows the outcome could have been worse: "I didn't sleep last night, I haven't eaten today and I'm missing a day of work. Its traumatizing because I know it wasn't an accident and the intent was to hurt someone and damage some property."
Hutchings laments, "It makes me sad that it's come to this, and that this is what kids do for fun nowadays...and it makes me sad to think of what could happen. You know, someone could be killed."
In addition to throwing rocks at drivers, these victims say someone also lined rocks up, at the same location on I-64, as a dangerous obstacle for motorists.