Police: Flint overpass rock-throwing long been a problem
Oct. 26, 2017
FLINT, Mich. (AP) — Police say the recent death of a vehicle passenger after teenagers allegedly threw rocks from a Flint area overpass is just one of many cases in past decades where people hurl debris from area bridges.
Kyle Anger, 17; Mark Sekelsky and Mikadyn Payn, 16; and Alexzander Miller and Trevor Gray, 15, have been charged with second-degree murder for throwing rocks off the Interstate 75 overpass that led to the Oct. 18 death of Kenneth White, 32.
A catwalk over Interstate 475 has historically been a site where people will throw asphalt, rocks and other items at cars, the Flint Journal reported .
"In years past it was not uncommon — concrete, asphalt, you name it — would get thrown onto the road below," said Lt. Matt Lasky, who's been with the Mt. Morris Township Police Department for 22 years. "When they put this out — you knew this was kids. Typically, ours were ... kids."
Lasky said he couldn't determine a specific number of calls he's received about people throwing debris off the overpass.
"These kids just want to cause damage to get a thrill," he said. "It was not an uncommon call for us to get."
The events date back about four decades ago to when Delores Hunt had to swerve to avoid a concrete block heaved over a bridge.
"If I hadn't swerved at the right moment, that block could have came through my windshield and I might not be here today," she told the newspaper in 1990. "It scared me."
In October 1990, Tracey Pearson was driving to work in Davison Township when she swerved to avoid what was eventually discovered to be a scarecrow dangling from an overpass. Police said her car flipped and ejected her, resulting in her death. The people involved in dangling the scarecrow were sentenced to three years in prison for involuntary manslaughter.
Hunt had long campaigned to make sure overpasses along Interstate 475 had screens installed. Large chain-link fences currently line those overpasses.
Information from: The Flint Journal, http://www.mlive.com/flint