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Fell asleep driving, woke up in a river

By Molly Reuter - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - An East Texas man says he fell asleep behind the wheel, and woke up in the Sabine River. Authorities were called out to Highway 69 north at the Smith-Wood County line. That's where rescuers say they the man trapped inside a SUV. We were there as the driver was pulled from his vehicle. It was especially emotional for another man who stopped to help.

"As I drove by I saw his car in the water, and I just wanted to make sure - I'm kind of emotional - I just wanted to make sure he was alright," said Joe terry.

Terry and his wife were the first on the scene Friday morning, and when they saw the SUV in the Sabine River Terry says he didn't think twice about stopping.

"If I see someone that needs help, I'm going to stop," he said.

Terry says his wife called 9-1-1, and while they waited for emergency crews to arrive Terry talked to the man trapped inside his car.

"He's from Grand Saline," said Terry. "He said his parents have been in the hospital and just been up too many hours and thought he fell asleep and hit a guardrail, but he was trapped."

It didn't take long for rescuers and Terry to surround the SUV, and pull the man from his vehicle. Terry says he's just thankful he and his wife saw the SUV.

"That's where he stopped, thank goodness, because if he had been out in the water, we might not have seen him," he said.

It was a rescue, Terry says, he'll never forget.

Now, the name of the man who was rescued has not been released. We are told he did not suffer any life threatening injuries, but was taken to a local hospital.

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