LEXINGTON, MASS. (WHDH) - Lexington Fire Chief Derek Sencabaugh had a major surprise Friday as a block of ice flew off a car in front of him and slammed into his front windshield. 

Sencabaugh wasn’t hurt. But he said this incident could have been worse. After a messy week of winter weather, the chief is also hoping to use this as a teachable moment, reminding drivers to clear their cars of snow and ice before hitting the road. 

“I could have been looking in the mirror to get ready to get off the highway and never saw it coming,” he said of the circumstances Friday morning. 

Sencabaugh was driving on I-95 south when ice went airborne.

He told 7NEWS he saw the ice coming, initially hoping it would pass over his SUV. Instead, the ice came flying toward the driver’s side of his windshield. 

Sencabaugh said he swerved just in time, causing the ice to hit the passenger side with what Sencabaugh described as a “heavy thud,” shattering part of the windshield and denting the car’s roof.

“It sounded like a big pile of wood or something coming into the windshield,” Sencabaugh said.

A traffic scare for Sencabaugh came hours after the Lexington Fire Department responded to an icy pileup that saw approximately a dozen vehicles slide off Route 2 late Thursday night, according to state police. 

Elsewhere, in Brimfield, 15 vehicles ended up snared in a separate pileup. 

Officials said ice on roadways was likely to blame for both incidents. 

Come Friday morning, as freezing rain and sleet pulled away from New England, ice still clung to some vehicles, leading to at least one other dangerous incident on Route 128 in Waltham. 

There, a piece of ice flew off a car, striking another car’s windshield. 

“This guy could have been killed,” one tow truck operator said of the car’s driver at the scene of the Waltham incident. 

Sencabaugh said crews respond to incidents like the one that he experienced Friday “all the time.”

“But living through it and seeing it and feeling the dramatic impact of it was pretty significant,” he said. 

Sencabaugh said drivers should be sure to clear snow and ice off their entire cars, including their roofs. Drivers should also leave enough space between cars in front of them and take things slow on roadways during winter weather. 

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