When roofing nails are found anywhere other than holding shingles in place, it can be a ruinous affair, as drivers in two Gulf Coast communities, Fort Myers and nearby Lehigh Acres, Fla., discovered earlier this week.
According to a news report by Fort Myers’ NBC affiliate, WBBH, on Monday, drivers traveling along Cleveland Avenue — a major thoroughfare — got themselves into a tire-ruining melee after roofing nails were splayed across the four-lane road.
“I just heard crunchiness going, and I’m like, ‘oh my gosh,’ whatever it is, we’re going through it; it was so quick,” Trissy Taft-Ladi, who was driving down Cleveland Avenue on Monday, told an NBC 2 reporter, adding she knew something wasn’t right. “[I] prayed that let’s get through this, and then we’ll pull over and see what exactly happened,” said Taft-Ladi.
What happened? Taft-Ladi discovered that 29 roofing nails punctured her tire.
“I couldn’t swerve to the left because of all the construction, I couldn’t swerve to the right because there was a car traveling beside me, and I couldn’t slam on my brakes because there were cars behind me,” Taft-Ladi explained.
The driver’s boyfriend, Brock Zeske, riding shotgun, said he couldn’t believe the nails were left on the road and pulled no punches when asked what he thought about the incident.
“Angry, very angry because I knew it was going to cost some money to get that repaired, and it was out of somebody else’s negligence,” Zeske said.
That frustration, which anyone reading this article likely identifies with, is justified considering the inconvenience and cost of repairing a nail puncture. In Taft-Ladi’s case, the repair bill reportedly cost her $200.
“They’re not the ones paying for it,” Zeske noted, alluding to what appeared to be an unintentional but fully avoidable case of roofing materials likely falling off a truck. “It’s us, the public, [who] are paying for their mistake.”
It was also not an isolated incident, according to Zeske. “Like 70-plus people that responded saying that it happened to me last week; it happened to me two days ago; it got all four of my tires,” he said.
WBBH reported that when it contacted the Fort Myers Police Department and Lee County Sherriff’s Office, the newsroom was told, “Carmine’s Cleanup Crew (aka inmates) are cleaning up the mess on Tuesday.”
Roofing Contractor contacted the Lee County Sherriff’s Office Wednesday morning. Katie Walter in the LCSO's Public Information Office said the incident is “still being investigated.”
In a related incident on Monday, roofing nails were found littered across Martineau Circle, a street in neighboring Lehigh Acres, about 15 miles east of Fort Myers.
Based on satellite images, the road is in a residential neighborhood where new home construction is seemingly coming soon. While Martineau Circle remains a series of vacant lots, Parkdale Blvd., the adjacent street, is home to single-story ranches.