Gust of wind sends Culver's patio umbrella rocketing through family's windshield in Willmar

A mother was out for ice cream with her two children.
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A mother and her two children are lucky they weren't injured seriously when a patio umbrella went through the windshield of their vehicle as they got ice cream at a Culver's in Willmar. 

Lea Mahoney, 43, of Willmar, tells Bring Me The News that she took her 14-year-old daughter and 15-month-old son through the drive-thru on Monday, and as they were leaving, the wind created an unexpected and dangerous situation.

Mahoney was driving the 2017 Dodge Caravan with the driver's side window down when a "sudden gust of wind" threw gravel into the air and into her car. She said it forced her to close her eyes and shut the window, and when she opened her eyes she "immediately saw a flying blue object coming at us from the sky." 

Seconds later, an umbrella from the Culver's patio smashed through the windshield, stopping just before it would've struck Mahoney. 

"Glass flew in at us and all over the car," Mahoney said, noting that her 14-year-old daughter in the front passenger seat was bleeding from her inner thigh from the shards of glass, while her 15-month-old son was in a rear-facing car seat and wasn't injured. 

Mahoney said it's "by the grace of God" that she wasn't "impaled by the umbrella." 

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According to Willmar Police Department, the incident happened around 4:55 p.m. Monday and no one in the Caravan sustained injuries that required any immediate medical care. 

The next day, however, Mahoney and her children went to the eye doctor to make sure pieces of glass didn't get into their eyes, in addition to taking her daughter to a doctor to rule out any glass embedded in her thigh. 

A spokesperson from Culver's media relations said they were informed of the incident via a Facebook post and took action to inform the Willmar restaurant. Mahoney noted that an assistant manager was very supportive after the accident. 

Police gave the Mahoneys a ride home and their vehicle was towed to an auto shop. 

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