Enclosed bridge. File photo by Michael Walker.

Cape Town - She hit the brakes as the brick smacked into her windscreen. The cars behind her swerved, skidded and hooted.

Luella Ritz is counting herself lucky to be alive after someone threw a brick at her car while she was driving to Cape Town International Airport on Sunday.

Ritz, a Joburg radiologist who had been in Cape Town for a conference, was on her way back from Spier on the N2.

As she approached the enclosed bridge just before the exit on to the R300, she noticed a group of people looking down from the top.

“All of a sudden I just heard this ‘smack!’,” she said. “Then I saw a brick bouncing along the road.”

She said other cars had to swerve to avoid the rebounding projectile.

“The brick missed the glass section of the windscreen by just a few centimetres… it hit the metal bracket,” she said. “I could’ve been seriously injured or dead.”

Ritz notified traffic authorities about the incident.

Rock-throwing on the notorious N2 “hell run” has caused injuries and claimed lives in the past.

In 2006, Nolan Daniels, 48, died after a piece of brick was flung through his windscreen. The projectile struck his head and the Kuils River man later succumbed to his injury in hospital.

Last June, former Proteas spinner Paul Adams was driving along the N2 in Cape Town when a brick hit his windscreen. The Cape Cobras coach wasn’t injured.

Police said there hadn’t been any reported incidents of rock-throwing on the N2 in recent months, but they have urged motorists to come forward and report incidents.

Police added that motorists should not stop their cars after being struck with a brick as it was often a ploy by criminals to hijack vehicles or rob their occupants.

Robin Carlisle, Western Cape transport MEC, said however sporadic these incidents were they were unacceptable.

He said a project was under way to deal with the problem, with options such as taller barriers on the pedestrian bridges, security cameras and more visible policing.

“We take this issue very seriously and are intent on sorting it out,” he told the Cape Argus on Monday.

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Cape Argus