A pipe kicked up by another car broke through a driver's windshield and pierced the woman's face and neck, officials said.

Brenda Shaw, 36, was impaled Monday after the car in front of her on Interstate 15 ran over the pipe. It was several feet long and 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter, officials said.

It may have fallen off a construction truck, said Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Preston Raban.

"Nobody really knows for sure," Raban said. "It looks like a piece of scaffolding."

According to the Utah Highway Patrol, the pipe hit Shaw just left of her nose and under her eye — missing her spinal cord by inches. Shaw was able to stop her car on the left side of the road and another driver who stopped to help called 911.

Shaw was conscious when troopers arrived, and the pipe had been removed by the time she got to the hospital, officials said.

She was in intensive care Thursday at LDS Hospital. She was in critical but stable condition.