Tennessee driver killed by concrete chunk tossed from highway overpass, police say

The 54-year-old man was on his way to work.

November 21, 2018, 1:55 AM

Police are searching for a suspect in the death of a Tennessee driver killed on Tuesday when a large chunk of concrete came crashing through his windshield.

Joe Shelton Jr., 54, was driving to work early Tuesday morning when the large piece of concrete smashed through his Nissan sports car, hitting the man in the face and sending his vehicle swerving across a Nashville highway, according to police.

Shelton was an employee at a Nissan plant in Smyrna.

Investigators with the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department said the concrete was likely tossed from a bridge overlooking the highway, but there’s no indication of who threw it, the police department said.

Police said the small vehicle sideswiped a pickup truck and a guardrail before it finally lost momentum.

"The concrete chunk traveled through Shelton’s windshield and hit him in the face at approximately 4:54 a.m. as he was driving to work at the Nissan plant in Smyrna," the department said in a statement. "The Nissan then sideswiped a Toyota pickup truck and a guardrail before coming to final rest on I-24’s Silliman Evans Bridge."

Inspectors with the Tennessee Department of Transportation determined that the concrete was not a part of the bridge structure, but more closely resembled a roadside curb, according to the statement.

The department is looking for local surveillance footage and investigating the origin of the concrete for potential clues.

Police are asking anyone who might know where the concrete chunk came from to call their Crime Stoppers line at 615-742-7463 with information.

"Investigators are reviewing available surveillance cameras in the area of the I-24/Shelby Avenue interchange, but do not yet have any description of a person(s) who may have thrown the concrete chunk from the bridge,” the statement said. "Anyone with information about this case, including seeing a person(s) standing on the Shelby Avenue Bridge in the 4:50 a.m.-4:55 a.m. time frame this morning, is asked to contact Crime Stoppers."

In April, four Ohio teens pleaded guilty to dropping a sandbag off a freeway overpass that killed a 22-year-old man. They were given suspended sentences and ordered to a treatment center.

ABC News' Darren Reynolds contributed to this report.