Cincinnati police warning drivers to roll up windows after cicada causes car crash

Police in Cincinnati are warning drivers to roll up their windows during this year’s cicada invasion after a man crashed his car when one of the insects flew into his face while he was driving Monday.

“While we like to have fun on social media from time to time, this is serious,” the Cincinnati Police Department said in a Facebook post. “This evening a young man traveling on Riverside Drive drove through a large swarm of Cicadas. One flew into the drivers compartment through an open window and struck him in the face, temporarily stunning him. He then crashed into a utility pole.”

Police said the man’s car was likely totaled, but he was spared from serious injury because he was wearing a seatbelt and his airbags opened.

Billions of cicadas have emerged from underground for the first time in 17 years to take part in a noisy, monthlong mating ritual. The periodical insects, also known as Brood X, spend most of their lives underground feeding on tree roots before tunneling to the surface to look for mates.

“Historically each time they emerge, there have been several car crashes attributed to their presence. This year is no different,” the police post said. “Remember to keep your windows rolled up until our little red eyed friends are gone.”

Elisha Fieldstadt is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.

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