San Diego

CHP Investigating Reports of Cement Blocks Left in Lanes of Interstate 8

So far, the CHP has seen 11 cars damaged by cement blocks on Interstate 8 on Jan. 3, Jan. 11, Jan. 16 and Feb. 1.

The California Highway Patrol is on the lookout for whoever is leaving large cement blocks in the middle of Interstate 8 near Dunbar Lane.

That's right. Cement blocks.

So far, the CHP has seen 11 cars damaged by cement blocks in freeway lanes.

Autumn Bassham is the most recent victim. Her grey Ford Focus is undrivable after she rolled over a concrete block Thursday.

The damage is so extensive it might not even be worth fixing.

The block weighed 50 pounds and measures 8 inches tall.

"It was scary," Bassham said. "It was confusing because I didn't know what I had hit."

The accident happened just before midnight. Bassham and a friend were changing lanes driving 65 mph on westbound I-8 just before the Dunbar Lane exit.

"It was a really loud noise. It was like a big thud," Bassham said.

The impact blew the driver side front tire, bent the rim, bumper, fender, and door and broke the axle.

CHP Officer Travis Darrow said the agency is investigating four separate incidents involving cinder blocks on westbound Interstate 8 east of Dunbar Lane. 

The incidents occurred on Jan. 3, Jan. 11, Jan. 16 and Feb. 1. 

There were five separate collisions reported on Jan. 11. On Jan. 16 there were four collisions reported. 

The incidents were reported between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m., Darrow said. 

In all, 11 cars have been damaged and the combined repairs will cost thousands.

"Why would you do that? How do you come up with that?" Bassham said.

Each time it was the same color and type of cement block left in the road.

While there are block companies in the area, CHP investigators are convinced this was no accident. They think the blocks are being placed there deliberately.

"I definitely need to be more cautious and look out for more things like that," Bassham said.

Bassham didn't see the block in the middle of the road and she didn't see anybody place the block in the middle of the road.

Since the CHP has had no luck catching the suspect after the fact, they are stepping up patrols in hopes of catching them in the act.

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