East Texas Man Survivors Night Outdoors After Driving His Truck Into Creek

A truck is pulled out of an East Texas creek, leaving authorities wondering what happened to its passengers.   Around 10:00 a.m. Saturday morning, the Henderson County Sheriff's Department was notified of a submerged vehicle in the Kickapoo Creek. That's just off Highway 31 West in Henderson County.  The driver, authorities say was later discovered in nearby woods frightened, but in good condition.  With Saturday's weather conditions authorities say the driver is lucky to be alive.

Police and rescue crews lined Highway 31 Saturday morning, and in Kickapoo Creek the top of a vehicle became visible in the water.  "We found out by a passer by that called in the information," said Department of Public Safety Trooper Johnny Massey.

Not knowing if anyone was inside, rescuers say they immediately got in the water and searched the vehicle.  "One of the windows was completely down, and the other was partially down," said Chandler Fire Chief Robert York. "We couldn't find anybody that was inside the truck."

As the truck was pulled from the water, authorities were able to get a license plate number and contact the owner. The owner, authorities say let a friend borrow the truck Friday night, but the friend was no where to be found.  "It is strange that somebody didn't call in that something took place here," said York. "It's always called in."

The reason, the driver of the truck was less than a mile from the creek in the woods where he spent the night.  "He made it to shore and tried to flag somebody down, and there wasn't much traffic that time of the morning," said Massey. "Nobody would stop for him, so he made his way up the road found shelter under a tree and stayed there all night."

The driver, identified as William Weams of Chandler, told authorities an animal ran out in front of him around 2:00 a.m. Saturday. For spending 13 hours outside, authorities say Weams is lucky to be alive.   "I can testify the water is cold," said York. "It absolutely took our breathe away. It's very cold."

"He refused EMS," said Massey. "He's just cold, and he wants to go home." It's a happy ending to a situation authorities say could have been much worse.

Authorities also say they do not believe any alcohol was involved in the accident.

Molly Reuter, Reporting. mreuter@kltv.com