Medical emergency behind wheel leads to accident in creek, police say

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An accident that sent a car flying down a ravine into a dry creek along Mastin Lake Road on Wednesday afternoon was likely caused by a medical emergency at the wheel, say Huntsville Police.

“I was sitting on the porch right here.”

Neighbor Leon Steave said he watched helplessly as a speeding westbound car with a flat tire jumped the curb and landed on the creek bank.

Steave said he ran across the street to see the driver and car in a precarious position.

“”He must have been knocked out or something… …He was hanging on the edge,” Steave said. “We couldn’t get down there. The dirt was moving. We couldn’t get down to him, because he would have flipped over.”

“It took about an hour to get him out of there,” Sgt. Grady Thigpen of Huntsville Police said at the scene. “He was transferred to Huntsville Hospital to undergo further testing to see if there’s any kind of underlying medical issues.”

The male driver was the only person in the car at the time of the accident.

Witnesses said the driver was visibly shaken, and had bruises on his chest and face.

“I could hear him in a lot of pain when they were pulling him out,” said another neighbor.

Witnesses said the driver began to move as he was being removed from the dangling vehicle, and did not appear to understand what had just happened.

“He was trying to get out,” he said. “They (first responders) kept telling him, ‘Hey man, you need to hold still.'”

Huntsville Police say they are responding to an increasing number of accidents caused by medical issues.

It is unknown what medical issues Wednesday evening’s driver might have had.

The driver is being treated at Huntsville Hospital.

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