Officials are warning drivers to be cautious when traveling on Highway 101 through Monterey County after the California Highway Patrol has responded to 38 incidents this year of projectiles hitting cars near Prunedale.
According to the CHP, five people have now been injured by flying objects striking their cars and investigators say they've identified a pattern to these attacks.
"I mean, I think it is always a concern. Anytime you are on the road you are going to have a risk. Nothing has happened to us but we are driving home so hopefully it will continue to be that way," said Dana Alexander, who was visiting San Luis Obispo on Monday.
Alexander and her family drove down to San Luis Obispo from Santa Rosa for a long weekend and took Highway 101 to get here.
They were headed back up north Monday and would be passing through Monterey County on their trek home, hoping all would be safe.
The Monterey CHP says all of the incidents have taken place in Prunedale on Highways 101 and 156 on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m.
It's been happening since February. The most recent cases occurred on October 30.
Despite the alarming number of cases, the CHP has struggled to find whoever is responsible and determine what exactly the projectiles are.
"So the hard thing with the previous incidents that we've had is a lot of them are late reported, meaning they have already gone home," said Jessica Madueño, Public Information Officer for the Monterey-area CHP.
If your car is struck by a projectile, the CHP says you should:
- Get to a safe location and call 9-1-1
- Do not touch any of the evidence
- Take notes of the time the incident took place and gather as much information about people or cars in the area
- Make sure you get the exact location of where the attack took place
"The boldness of the people responsible has significantly increased. On October 30th alone, we had seven documented cases in an 18-minute time period," said Kyle Foster, Monterey-area CHP Commander.
Fort Hunter Liggett posted Monday morning that base recommends drivers avoid Highway 101 during the days and times the incidents have been happening.
The Monterey-area CHP has dedicated a task force to investigate these incidents.