(Toledo, OH) I first noticed the car in front of my house about eleven o'clock. It was idling in the middle of the street with its lights on, and at first I thought it might be one of my teens getting dropped off by a friend.
After a few minutes, and with the car still sitting there, I threw my coat on to go investigate.
In the front seat was a white male, about 30 years of age, sleeping behind the wheel. He managed to put the car into park before nodding off in the middle of the road. The window was down, and I tried to shake him, but he was out cold.
I called 911 and reported the car and its somnolent driver. First on the scene was the fire department, whose first move was to turn off the car and take away the keys.
I hadn't thought of that.
They then rousted the man as the police pulled up. After a few minutes of the perfunctory drunk tests, the responding officer cuffed the man and put him in the back of the cruiser. A few minutes later a tow truck came and hauled away the man's car.
The man was clearly under the influence of something, and anyone who could sleep as soundly as this person was in no condition to drive. I resisted the urge to plaster the man's face and license plate on my blog, opting instead for a few blurry shots of the emergency vehicles blocking my driveway.
Asleep. Behind the wheel. In the middle of the road.
I have thought about this guy a few times in the past two days, like why he chose the area in front of my house to make his abrupt stop, and how he could have been so wasted to actually sleep while in the act of driving. I suppose the fact that he got busted before he could have killed someone is a positive note, but I couldn't help but feel an initial twinge of guilt at turning him in.
That quickly passed, though. People that intoxicated behind the wheel of a car are more than a menace - they are tragedies waiting to happen.