I fell asleep at the wheel and hit a concrete wall doing 80mph.
This was after driving 3500 miles from Texas to Connecticut to visit my daughter for the Christmas holidays. I was on my return journey and was “pushing to get back” one day earlier on the flip-flop.
Texas-Louisiana Border before falling asleep at the wheel
I had made it over the Louisana-Texas border traveling on 20W and sent an Instagram post of the Texas Border Welcome sign from the rest-stop. (I wasn’t texting and driving, nor was I drinking)
It wasn’t more than 20 minutes into Texas at the junction of Olde Kilgore Hwy and 20W that I fell asleep at the wheel. The next thing I remember was someone talking to me through my truck window, asking if I was ok? “Man, I need to have you talk to me and to stay awake”. I rolled down the window, as the key was still in the ignition and on but the truck was stalled up against a concrete wall and dug into a mound of grass. I moved all my fingers, toes, neck back and forth to decide if there was any pain or bleeding.
Asleep at the wheel, but no known injuries that I could detect.
Dave was the good Samaritan motorist coming from the opposite direction that had seen my truck drive off the road, sideswipe the jersey concrete barrier, miss the bridge, and bump against the concrete for some 200 yards before the truck stalled in a mound of grass. He stopped and ran over to make sure I was OK.
State troopers and good Samaritan find man asleep at the wheel after hitting barrier at 80mph, survived.
Dave kept me awake, and called the State Troopers and EMS. Shortly, the State Troopers from the Longview area were on the scene. They asked if I could move my truck or would I need a wrecker. I started up the truck, put it into 4×4 and granny gear. The truck (Smokey) walked right out of the mushy grass and pulled away from the barrier.
The EMS vehicle came, and I talked to the medic for a bit and then entered the back of the EMS on my own power. Sat on the gurney and got vitals and a cardiac test scan. My blood pressure was way up 172 over 122. I said, I had a lisiniprel in the truck that would bring that down. Other than that, there was no heart attack trace, nor any other ailment. He said it was up to me, but he recommended I go to hospital and get checked out. I said, I will take my BP med, sit for a while and go on my way if I feel OK.
After being cleared by the EMS, I got out and went to talk to the State Troopers. I asked if they had a report or case number I could write down. The trooper said since there was nothing to report they weren’t going to file a report. Glad everything worked out!
I waited about 20 minutes after the EMS left to make sure the BP med I took was working and also that I didn’t have any ill effects. I checked also the truck for leaks, loose wheels, etc.
Amazingly, the truck suffered no real damage other than wheel alignment and steering wheel alignment issue. The body of the truck never hit the wall.
The truck had gone off the road before the overpass, and side-swiped the wall, then proceeded to go under the over-pass and scrape the concrete for 200 yards. The 1 ton Dodge 3500 truck had dually wheels. The back and front dually wheels had acted as a bumper guard.