A driver in Michigan is thankful to be alive after launching his car over a freeway overpass last week. Unfortunately, the drink that gave this Chevrolet Impala wings may have been alcohol.
Chandler Cockerham of Kalamazoo, Michigan told Target 8 that he felt awake and alert in the moments before he reportedly fell asleep at the wheel while driving home on south U.S.-131 Thursday afternoon. In those few seconds of unconsciousness, Cockerham veered onto a snowy embankment at speed, launching his Chevy Impala over the freeway bridge. The car landed on its side in a ditch on the other side.
Cockerham emerged from the back window with a gash on his head. The single father of two told Target 8 he’s pretty banged up but grateful no one else was hurt:
“All (it) took was the one second for me to doze off then that happened,” Cockerham explained in a text exchange with Target 8.
The embankment’s incline launched Cockerham’s black Chevy Impala up and over the 142nd Avenue overpass, an astonishing scene captured on a nearby business’s surveillance camera.
“I’m very grateful that no one else (was hurt). I’m (also) very grateful that my children get to still be raised by their father,” Cockerham said in a text.
It may not surprise you that Michigan State Police suspect alcohol was a factor in the crash. Cockerham admits to drinking a six pack of beer and at least two mixed drinks before taking a four hour nap and heading home from a friend’s house. Hey, drinking all that would make anyone sleepy, especially depending on how fast you drink it.
Many factors affect how quickly alcohol to absorb into the blood stream, but those four hours were likely not enough time for Cockerham’s body to metabolize that much alcohol. It can take 60 to 90 minutes for alcohol to peak in your bloodstream before the body begins to break it down, according to the Cleveland Health Clinic.
Cockerham may not be the best judge of when he is or isn’t breaking the law, however, considering he was driving on a suspended license and has a history of run-in with police, from Target 8:
“This year tore me apart … Love my kids to death but their daddy has grown weaker this year,” Cockerham wrote.
State Police records show the 25-year-old has a prior arrest for operating while intoxicated, as well as convictions on a drug offense and fleeing police. His driving record shows two prior crashes, including one in which he was cited for leaving the scene of a personal injury accident.
It has been a hell of a year, but drinking and driving is no way to handle it. I hope Cockerham gets the help he needs and cleans up his act for those kids.