SPRINGFIELD - "Michael R. Brochu of Springfield had heard that lately some vehicles on Interstate 91 had been hit by unknown objects, but the
knowledge did not cause him to take an alternative route to work."
"Of all the vehicles zipping up and down the highway each day, Brochu said, he figured the odds of getting hit were extremely unlikely."
"I really wasn't too concerned," he said. "It was kind of like (the odds) of getting hit by lightning."
"Lightning - in the form of an unknown projectile - struck Brochu's 1995 Ford pickup truck yesterday shortly before 9 a.m. in the northbound lane of
I-91 near the Chicopee line. The window on his passenger door blew up, spraying bits of glass all over the inside of his truck." "It exploded -
all over me and the front seat," Brochu said."
"A little over two hours earlier and about three miles south, a car heading southbound near the former York Street jail also had its rear window
blown out, police said."
"Information about the other driver was not available."
"In a press statement, Hampden County District Attorney William M. Bennett said, "It does not appear to the investigators that a firearm is involved
in these two incidents." He could not be reached for comment."
"The question of how the damage is being done has arisen during the last two weeks, when at least six similar incidents were reported. Each of the
incidents has taken place along the same stretch of highway from the Longmeadow line near Forest Park to the junction of Interstates 91 and 391 in
"Yesterday, Massachusetts State Police with dogs searched along the highway and a state police helicopter patrolled overhead where the two latest
"State police referred all questions on the matter to Bennett. The statement issued by Bennett's office said the two new incidents appear similar
to the previous ones. According to the statement, no projectiles were found in either vehicle. Nor was there any evidence of a "through-and-through
shot," where the projectile passed completely through the vehicle. Bennett's statement said investigators do not believe a firearm to be involved,
but it stopped short of saying what struck either vehicle."
"Brochu said he was traveling in the outer right lane closest to the breakdown lane when his window shattered. There was no other traffic nearby and
he did not see anyone on the side of the road, he said."
"He said he has no idea what hit his truck."
"It was an extremely loud boom - unlike a rock or stone or something like that," he said. "I don't know any pellet gun that would do that to a
"He was driving 55 to 60 mph at the time. After he was hit, he slowed to about 40 mph to collect himself, but did not stop. He drove about three
miles up I-391 to the Grattan Street exit, where he flagged down a trooper who was working a traffic detail at a construction site. Brochu said he
intends to find an alternate route to and from work each day. That request, he said, came from his wife."
"He said he likely will avoid I-91 at least for the next week."
"Not that I believe lightning strikes twice, but you never know," he said."