By Rachel Wulff

PLACERVILLE (CBS13) — A veteran is recovering at UC Davis Med center after a tripod was thrown at his van, nearly killing him.

Tim Page was in the driver’s seat when the unthinkable happened. He is still replaying what happened and grateful his friend is recovering.

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“Lucky is a little bit of an understatement,” said Page.

Page, Navy veteran, says it’s a miracle he and another veteran survived after a Caltrans surveying tripod was dropped onto their windshield.

“It was inches from him dying and it could have been feet away from me dying,” said Page.

Swipe through photos from the crash

Page is a volunteer driver for the Military Family Support Group. He had just picked the man up from the airport and was on I-5 southbound near the 99 interchanges when he looked up and saw a yellow object in the corner of his eye. It pierced the window and pierced his friend’s chest.

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“He is a pretty tough guy,” said Page. “At the time he didn’t even want to call for an ambulance, which I wouldn’t be a part of.”

His friend was rushed to the hospital with a punctured lung and four broken ribs.

“It was pretty scary,” said Page.

CHP searched surveillance footage from businesses around Front Street in Old Sacramento. They tracked down 32-year-old Matthew Thompson, a homeless man, and arrested him for an outstanding warrant. He is now a suspect in a felony attempted murder investigation.

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The window has already been repaired and the van back in service. Page ready to offer his services as he heads out of state to visit family.

“They are saying he might not be able to fly and I’ll driving that way, so the miracles keep happening,” said Page.

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Donations are pouring in after they posted this story on their Facebook page. There are 18,000 vets in El Dorado County, the most per capita in California. The non-profit is happy to have the support of so many.