Trucker the latest victim of rock throwers in Pennsylvania

By Greg Grisolano, Land Line staff writer | 8/5/2014

A Pennsylvania trucker said he’s lucky no one was hurt after a large rock was thrown through the windshield of his tractor early Monday morning.

Ray Ebersole, of Paxinos, Pa., said the incident happened at around 1:30 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 4, as he was traveling on Route 924 near Ringtown on his way work.

Ebersole said he initially saw a young man in a blue shirt run onto the roadway and wave his arms, as if in need of some assistance. Ebersole slowed down, thinking there might be an emergency, but the suspect disappeared into the trees near the roadway. Moments later, his cab was pelted with rocks, including one the size of a grapefruit, that crashed through the windshield on the passenger side.

“When he got done waving, he ran off the highway, and I thought ‘that ain’t right,’” Ebersole said in a phone interview with OOIDA’s “Land Line Now” on Sirius XM.

“The windshield exploded; there was banging on the side of the truck where the rocks were hitting. Until I got stopped, I didn’t see anybody on the side of the road.”

Ebersole said in addition to the windshield, other rocks damaged the windows in his sleeper berth and dented his air cleaner. He estimated his speed at the time of the incident to be approximately 55 mph.

Once the rocks started hitting his cab, Ebersole said he came to a stop and thought he saw as many as three suspects, who escaped on ATVs. He said the attack left him shaken up, particularly since his wife often rides shotgun with him when he’s working. Ebersole said police think the individual in the road may have been acting as a decoy to slow down potential victims long enough to get their throws in.

The attack on Ebersole shares similarities with another incident that happened nearby in July. Last month, a 52-year-old middle school teacher from Ohio was critically injured when she was struck by a rock thrown by four teens in a similar incident on Interstate 80 in central Pennsylvania, about 20 miles away from where Ebersole’s truck was targeted. Four suspects have been charged in that attack.

“My wife rides along frequently,” he said. “It could’ve taken her out. Kids like that have to be held accountable. They’re going to hurt somebody. If my wife would’ve been along, I don’t know what would’ve happened. I got lucky I didn’t get hurt.

Ebersole said he’s hoping somebody with information about the attack will contact authorities.

“I’ve lost two days of work now. I’m looking at hundreds of dollars in damages,” he said. “Why should I have to pay for this? I’m just a guy trying to make a living here. … What’s going to stop them from doing it again?”

“Land Line Now” News Anchor Reed Black contributed to this report.

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