Nurse faces long recovery after rock thrown at her car on East Bay highway

Pam says she could lose her eye, even after 3 surgeries to repair the damage. But she says she is grateful to still be alive.
CONCORD, Calif. (KGO) -- Pam Burnett's life before Dec. 23, 2020, was just the kind of ordinary wonderful that she wanted -- a busy family with two young children and meaningful work as a labor and delivery nurse.

On that night, on her way to work, her life was turned upside down.

This photo provided to ABC7 News shows Concord, Calif. nurse Pam Burnett while working in her hospital unit.

This photo provided to ABC7 News shows Concord, Calif. nurse Pam Burnett while working in her hospital unit.

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She was driving on Highway 242 in Concord when a rock went through her windshield.

"As I was driving along, all of a sudden, I had heard this loud, big, and then this intense pain in my face, and then I couldn't see anything," she said.

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Her windshield was shattered. The rock that went through it was the size of a grapefruit.

It was dark. She was bleeding, she could barely see as she slowly drifted her car to the side of the road. She thought she was going to die.

"I was desperately trying to get Siri to call 911 from my watch, but nothing was happening."

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When she finally got to the hospital, the damage was done. She had multiple broken bones and a damaged eye.

She had three surgeries, one of them on Christmas Day.

"There's a good possibility that I could lose my right eye," she said.

She could have more surgeries in the future. There are blood clots in her eye.

CHP is investigating the case, but still no suspects. Police believe the rock may have been thrown from an overpass.

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Another similar incident happened in the same area in April, when a brick was thrown at a car, killing a grandmother.

CHP says they don't have any suspects in that case either.

Pam's husband started this GoFundMe page because it could be months before she goes back to work as a labor and delivery nurse at Contra Costa Regional Medical Center.

This undated photo shows Pam Burnett and her family. Pam is a nurse in Concord, Calif. who was badly injured after a rock was thrown through her car windshield.

This undated photo shows Pam Burnett and her family. Pam is a nurse in Concord, Calif. who was badly injured after a rock was thrown through her car windshield.

Steven Burnett



"I've never been so sad in my life about anything, just terrible. I'm trying to stay strong and help her get through this and we're gonna get through," said Steven Burnett, Pam's husband.

Pam and Steven draw their strength from their kids. Baby Sawyer was born this year.

Pam says, despite the pain and the long recovery ahead, she's grateful to be alive.

"It's been the best year, it's been the worst year at the same time," she said.

Especially if you travel Highway 242 between Olivera Road and the Highway 4 interchange, police are asking for your help. If you know anything about this case, call CHP Contra Costa, the number is 925-646-4980.
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