Senate OKs highway fencing bill inspired by 2014 incident

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Legislation is advancing in Pennsylvania to require protective fencing on bridges over many busy highways, following a 2014 incident in which teenagers threw a 4½-pound rock from an I-80 overpass and critically injured an Ohio woman.

The state Senate passed the bill unanimously Tuesday, sending it to the House of Representatives. Four teenagers were sentenced to prison in the case.

The bill requires the state Department of Transportation to install the fencing when it builds or upgrades a bridge with a sidewalk over a freeway or interstate highway.

The rock crashed through the Budd family’s windshield while driving through central Pennsylvania, striking Sharon Budd. She suffered catastrophic head injuries and lost an eye.

Budd’s husband, Randy, lobbied Pennsylvania lawmakers to change the law. He committed suicide last year, after he successfully lobbied Ohio to change its rules.

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