Large metal shard crashes through windshield, hits man in the face

The North Carolina man and his wife were driving on I-85.

— -- A North Carolina man is lucky to be alive after a heavy metal object crashed through the windshield of his car last Thursday on I-85 near Belmont.

Patrick Rowland, 32, was riding on the passenger side of the car while his wife Ashlie Rowland drove the car.

While they were driving, a large piece of metal flew through the windshield glass and hit Patrick Rowland in the face.

Ashlie Rowland said she was stunned when she saw her husband immediately afterwards and feared the worst.

"When I [saw] him I thought he was dead," she told ABC affiliate WSOC-TV in Charlotte. "Never in my life have I seen something so graphic."

Patrick was knocked unconscious and sustained nine broken bones, the couple said. He received nine stitches, they said, and is waiting on several reconstructive surgeries at the Carolinas Medical Center.

"He's very lucky to be here, really," Ashlie Rowland said.

Patrick Rowland shared the feeling and said he still can’t believe he survived.

"The doctor actually pulled my wife outside and said he's seen a couple accidents like this and nobody has ever survived," he said. "He doesn't know how I survived."

Both parents feel lucky that none of their five children were with them at the time of the accident.

"I thank God it happened to me and not somebody else," Patrick Rowland said.