‘It hit my windshield, shattered everything:’ Drivers forced to pay for repairs urge people to clear off ice and snow from cars

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — From cracked windshields to broken rearview mirrors, drivers are still dealing with the headaches caused by last week’s ice storm.

Buffalo resident Larissa Mante has to pay $500 dollars to get her windshield replaced. A sheet of ice flew off the car in front of her as she was driving on the I-290 Thursday. She has children and says she’s relieved none of them were in the car with her as that happened, but she is 21 weeks pregnant. She says it was terrifying.

“I froze in the moment, kind of panicked and braced myself,” she told News 4. “I was in the middle lane so there wasn’t really much I could do. I may have closed my eyes and that’s when it hit me. Hit my windshield shattered everything. Everything. Bent it, you name it, it was really scary.”

The total cost of damage to her car was $2,900. Her car insurance is covering most of those expenses, but she does have to pay the deductible.

“Just an unexpected expense that I wasn’t trying to pay this week,” she said.

A similar situation happened to Mike Formanowicz as he was driving on the thruway.

“Cracked the windshield from side to side, up and down. Luckily it didn’t break or fracture so I was able to continue to drive, but it also took out my passenger side mirror and I also got a dent on the hood and also on the top of the car,” he said.

Formanowicz is a driving instructor with AAA and says his experience helped him remain calm.

“Honestly it happened so fast, I didn’t have much time to react. And then when it hit, the first thing I noticed was that it hit with such impact, that my rearview mirror came down a little bit. So that was interesting,” he said.

The owner of Bison Automotive in Buffalo says this has been a busy month for them.

“Oh it’s been crazy. Ever since the ice storm especially,” owner Bob Gugino said. “We’ve been getting a lot of broken wiper blades and things like that that deal with the ice and the snow.”

He says on average repairs for wipers could cost a few hundred dollars, and then having your windshield replaced can add up to more than a thousand dollars in repairs.

Sarah Minkewicz is an Emmy-nominated reporter and Buffalo native who has been a part of the News 4 team since 2019. Follow Sarah on Twitter @SarahMinkewicz and click here to see more of her work.

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