Police: Distracted driver submerges car in floodwater - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Police: Distracted driver submerges car in floodwater

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METROPOLIS, Ill. -- Flooding is keeping first responders busy in Massac County. 

A distracted driver drove into freezing floodwaters on Metropolis Street between the streets of Carter Drive and Hope Lane just after 8:30 p.m. Monday night. 

Police say a split second decision led to the dangerous situation which left the car completely submerged. 

Metropolis Police Chief Harry Masse says there was one other person in the car when the 29-year-old driver took his eyes off the road. 

"By the time we got to the scene, got a hold of them and rescued them out of the water, the car had sunk and it disappeared from site," Masse said. "They were wet, cold and frightened."

Masse says the driver was driving down Metropolis Street when he got distracted. 

He says the driver bent down to pick something up and by the time he looked back at the road, he was driving into the floodwaters. 

"According to the driver, he dropped his spit cup and when he had reached down to get it, he looked up and had veered to the left," Masse said. 

By the time fire, police and EMS arrived on scene, the driver and the passenger were able to swim back to land. 

Masse says the car remains under water. 

The floodwaters where the driver went into the water are as deep as eight to ten feet. 

"It's distracted driving," Masse said. "Whether you're talking on a cellphone, texting and driving or playing with the radio, or in this case, you dropped your spit cup, you have to pay attention."

Masse says luckily this time there were no injures. 

Metropolis Police say over the past 10 days, they have given 12 tickets to drivers who drove around the barricade keeping people safe from floodwaters. 

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