By Bryan Jeon
NASCAR driver Michael Waltrip, who lately has had a rough performance professionally, has created much news coverage after his car accident on the public streets. Last Friday evening, Waltrip fell asleep at the wheel of his Toyota Land Cruiser and apparently hit a telephone pole and rolled over into a ditch. On Wednesday, an 18-year-old university student shared the incident as a witness of the aftermath.
The girl, who requested anonymity for fear of reprisal, approached the overturned car at 2 a.m. Saturday and called 911 for help after not noticing anyone in the vehicle nor anyone responding to her shouts. Shortly thereafter, Waltrip climbed out of his car with cuts to his forehead and arms. Here is what the student had to say:
“That’s when Michael Waltrip got out. He wiggled out the back window. I knew immediately it was him. He just got out the back driver side window and stood up.”
Two things: 1) Amazing that Waltrip gets out barely scathed, as it is not uncommon for the result of someone falling asleep at the wheel to be fatal. It’s a bit of a shock being that we all can relate to this scary moment, but all signs seem encouraging to continue our sleep-driving after this result. 2) You know you’re talking about a city like Sherrill’s Ford in North Carolina when a local recognizes a race car driver. I mean, who the hell knows that? But anyway, good for her.
“I told him 911 was on the way, and he just turned around and started walking home. I didn’t know what to say or what to do. He had a T-shirt and sweat pants and socks on, he might have taken his shoes off in the car, but I wasn’t sure. And he just turned around and started walking home in his socks.”
What an awesome man Waltrip is. Only crazy, white race car drivers would do something like walk home from the scene of their own accident with no shoes on.
Waltrip was charged that Saturday evening with reckless driving and failing to report an accident, both misdemeanors. He has a May 14 court date on the charges.
Image courtesy of AP Photo.