Driver hits big rig along I-55, crashes into flood water

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ARNOLD, MO (KTVI) - Dramatic moments this morning in south county when a suspected drunk driver hits a big rig then his car ends up in Meramec River floodwaters just off I-55. Doug Robinson, 46, from south county was able to get out of his Ford Contour after it wound up partially submerged in a flooded embankment off I-55 south. We were on the Meramec Bottom Road overpass reporting on 55 south reopening after flooding when the scene unfolded.

We talked with Robinson moments after he got out of his car and walked through the water.

"Before I know it, I'm right in the middle of this over here. I couldn't get out the driver's side door; I pulled over the passenger side door, I pushed as hard as I could and was able to get out of it. I thought I was going to drown, I thought I was going under," said Robinson.

Robinson told us something hit his car on I-55 south causing the airbags to go off and him to lose control. But the Missouri Highway Patrol says that is far from the truth. Investigators tell us Robinson was on I-55 south when he hit the back of a big rig around 7:15am. The patrol says that is what caused Robinson to end up in the off the side of the highway.

A Highway Patrol Trooper actually went into the flood waters to check and see if anyone else was in Robinson`s car. There was nobody else.

Missouri Highway Patrol Corporal Juston Wheetley says Robinson was arrested on suspicion of D.W.I.

'It is very frustrating when it turns out people are intoxicated. But that`s what we`re trained to do. Regardless of the circumstances and being intoxicated or indifferences, whatever it may be, we are trained to protect the citizens of Missouri and that`s what we`re going to do,' said Wheetley.

Robinson was taken to a hospital to be treated for minor injuries. The semi driver was not hurt.

Robinson interviewed with us before the information unfolded from the highway patrol which discredited his story. Wheetley says Robinson was also driving on a revoked license.

Google Map for coordinates 38.432832 by -90.377619.

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