Car flips over, lands in tree, falls out; driver hospitalized

Saturday, November 23, 2002

A driver survived a potentially deadly crash Friday night on Kingsway Drive after his black Chevy Cavalier overturned multiple times, landed in a tree, fell out and then came to rest upside down.

The driver was trapped in the car for nearly 20 minutes before emergency responders were able to pull him out to safety. As of late Friday night, police were unable to release the driver's name or what may have caused the crash.

A witness who was driving behind the Cavalier first said he noticed a problem on Broadway, where he said the car was moving back and forth from the shoulder to the other lane of traffic.

"When I first saw him, I thought I'd follow him to see if he crashed," said Troy Smith, 18, of Cape Girardeau. "I looked for my cell phone to call the police, but I couldn't find it. Then I got really scared when he edged into traffic."

Once they reached Kingsway, the driving got worse, Smith said. The other driver hit a mailbox, then went off the road into a ditch next to driveway on Kingsway. That's when the Cavalier flipped over repeatedly, flipping high enough to land in a tree briefly before falling out.

"He was hanging out of the back of the car when I found him," Smith said. "His face was in the dirt, and he was moaning. I tried to talk to him and pushed at the car to help him out, but then I thought the best thing to do would be to call the police because he could have neck or spine injuries."

The victim was conscious when he was transported to St. Francis Medical Center by ambulance and complained of possible back injuries to paramedics, who also speculated he may have leg fractures.

mwells@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 160

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