NEAR SALEM, OR (KPTV) – Oregon State Police say cars are being targeted by vandals on a stretch of Highway 22 between Salem and Willamina.
Investigators say the suspects are reportedly throwing frozen fruit at cars as drivers pass by, smashing windshields and sending glass and food flying toward drivers.
“These incidents keep happening right here on Highway 22 between mile post 15 and 17,” Paul Homewood, a driver from Salem, said. "Police have confirmed at least 5 separate cases…three of those, school buses with children on them.”
Homewood says some of the incidents have involved school busses with children inside.
Law enforcement members confirm they received the first reports of someone vandalizing cars in this area back in December and continue to take reports.
Photos posted to social media show the aftermath of the reported vandalism.
The woman who first posted the photos says her toddler was in the truck at the time it happened and could have been killed.
People who frequently drive from Salem to the coast say the vandalism is unsettling.
“That’s just incredibly stupid to do,” Homewood said. "That’s no different than taking and throwing a boulder off an overpass. You’re definitely putting the people that are driving’s lives in danger.”
The Willamina School District confirms three of its school buses have been hit, two of them just this week. Although officials say in each case there were kids on board, everyone is okay, and the buses had just minor damage.
In each instance, the district reports the buses were hit while passing by mile marker 16, which is roughly 10 miles west of Salem and 14 miles east of Willamina.
District officials say they’re hoping police find the person or people responsible so they can keep students safe.
According to one police report, a victim saw the vandals pass by in a maroon or brown car from the late 1980s or early 90s.
Law enforcement continues to investigate and no arrests have been made in connection to the case. Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Oregon State Police.
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