Tennessee resident Joe C. Shelton Jr. was driving a Nissan GT-R supercar to work Tuesday morning when a chunk of concrete came through his windshield, hit him in the face and sent his car crashing into a pickup and guardrail, killing him, Nashville police said in a statement later in the day. He was 54 years old.
The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department is still investigating the crash, but said in the statement that the concrete was likely thrown from the local Shelby Avenue Bridge near downtown Nashville, hitting Shelton at around 4:54 a.m. while he was on his way to work at the Nissan plant in Smyrna, Tennessee. Inspectors from the Tennessee Department of Transportation determined the concrete chunk wasn’t from the bridge and more closely resembled a curb from the road, the statement said.
After the concrete crashed through the GT-R’s windshield on the driver’s side, the statement said, the car sideswiped a Toyota pickup truck and hit a guardrail before coming to a stop. Investigators have no indication of who might have thrown the concrete yet, if it was thrown, but the statement said investigators are looking through surveillance footage in the area to find a potential suspect. Investigators are also looking into where the concrete might have come from.
If the concrete was thrown off of the bridge, the incident is reminiscent of the serial rock thrower from Texas, who targeted cars on the interstate in Austin. After the person arrested for the rock throwing, Patrick Eugene Johnson, was caught, he pleaded guilty and said the throwing “became a sport,” according to a San Antonio Express-News story from last year. He left one person with brain damage as a result of the rock throwing, the outlet reported.
But endangering passerby isn’t a sport, and if you’re in the area, Nashville police are asking anyone who might know something about where this concrete chunk came from to call their Crime Stoppers line with information.
Update, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018 at 9:05 a.m. ET: Local outlet WKRN reports that Nissan released a statement on Shelton later on Tuesday, saying, “We are saddened to learn of Joe’s passing. Our deepest sympathies are with his family members, friends and colleagues at this difficult time.”
Shelton’s family members said he was a “wonderful husband and father” who married his high-school sweetheart, according to a story from Fox 17 Nashville. His wife, Kim, told the outlet that when she said goodbye to him before he left for work on Tuesday morning, she had no idea it would be for the last time.