Imperial Beach artist Kelly Tracy was driving the 5 freeway north on the afternoon of May 29.
“I was in the slow lane, and about eight to ten car-lengths ahead I notice a full sheet of plywood starting to lift up from the lumber rack on a dark blue Ford Ranger, and just as I'm trying to change lanes, that plywood went up in the air about 30 feet and was coming straight at me.
“There were cars on both sides of me, but I was able to swerve to the left without hitting anyone, and it hit on my hood, then over the roof, then off the tailgate — that eight-foot-by-four-foot three-quarter-inch thick sheet of plywood came down with so much force, it moved my truck.
“I immediately started honking my horn and flashing my lights at the blue truck to pull over, but the driver shook his head ‘no.’ I pulled up next to him, still honking and pointing to pull over — he again shakes his head ‘no.’ I got in front of the blue truck and he attempts to go around me. I called 911, and I gradually slow down when I see a tow truck coming up behind us.
“I come to a complete stop with the blue truck pinned in. I'm still on the phone with the highway patrol when the tow truck drives around and asks if I need help, when the blue truck backs up and attempts to go around us on the right side, but the tow truck driver and I blocked it.
“The CHP tells me there are three to four highway patrol units en route when the driver of the blue truck approaches my passenger window. I shout, ‘Don't you know how to secure a load?’ The man acted like he didn’t understand English. The CHP pulls up behind the blue truck, yelling at the driver to get back to his vehicle.
“The CHP informed me the driver of the blue truck had basic insurance and stated that the sheet of plywood had been on his lumber rack for years with that same rope. I have a giant dent in my hood, broken grill, bent hood latch, bent AC condenser, scratch on my roof, and who knows what other damages.”