A driver who was on his way to work in heavy fog was taken to a hospital for a check-up after his sport utility vehicle landed in the Bay of St. Louis, Harrison County Fire Chief Pat Sullivan said Sunday.
It happened about 10:45 p.m. Saturday at the Henderson Point Boat Launch and points to the dangers of driving in heavy fog, he said.
“The gentleman said he was driving to work, heading for Bay St. Louis, and he ended up on a different road,” Sullivan said.
The road the man was driving on, Bayview Street, ends at the boat launch, Sullivan said.
“He was driving along and all of a sudden he saw water in front of him and didn’t have time to stop before he hit the water.”
The man couldn’t open the door to get out and he couldn’t swim, Sullivan said. The water at the boat ramp goes from waist-deep to over-the-head quickly.
The man kicked out the back window of his vehicle and climbed on top of the SUV. The man apparently managed to call 911 on his cell phone, Sullivan said.
A crew from American Medical Response ambulance service came to the boat launch and took the man to a hospital to be checked out.
“He wasn’t injured, but he needed to be checked for possible hypothermia,” Sullivan said.
“It could have been far more serious than it was.”
When fog gets so heavy that a driver can’t see beyond 100 feet, it’s time to slow down, he said.
“The number one concern is to slow down in the fog before you end up in a circumstance where something jumps out in front of you all of a sudden,” Sullivan said.
“Realistically, you should be able to stop your car within two car lengths.”
A tow truck driver got in the water to maneuver the SUV to the edge of the boat ramp to get it out of the water.