Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

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July 17, 2012

Asleep at the wheel

Driver not hurt after landing car in Palo Pinto County stock tank

By LIBBY CLUETT | lcluett@mineralwellsindex.com

PLEASANT VALLEY – A man passing through Palo Pinto County, driving from Kaufman County to Breckenridge, took a detour Saturday off U.S. Highway 180 West and landed in a stock tank, about 7 miles west of Mineral Wells.

Just over 140 miles into an estimated 190 mile trip to see a friend, Lee Smith, 37, said he must have dozed off while driving his White Toyota Camry and exited the road around 1:30 p.m. He said all he recalls is seeing green and the air bags deploying as he hit the stock pond.

Smith was visibly shaking, but appeared to have no visible injuries. His car was mostly submerged in the tank and he said his cell phone and laptop, along with other belongings, were drenched.

Fortunately, he left the road where there was little to impede his path, driving under pasture fencing, just taking out one T-post and loosening lower wires. Smith’s car narrowly missed two clumps of trees, driving between them, and missed a huge concrete block in the pasture.

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