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Sleepy driver totals car Thanksgiving morning in Saint Robert on interstate
Sleepy driver totals car Thanksgiving morning in Saint Robert on interstate

State troopers say this driver fell asleep before going airborne on Interstate 44.
SAINT ROBERT, Mo. (Nov. 26, 2009) — State troopers and local police are out in force this Thanksgiving holiday weekend to catch problem drivers, and so far local authorities have arrested two motorists on drunk driving charges along with one driver who fell asleep and totaled his car after going airborne.

State troopers reported that Maximino R. Rocha, 51, of Findlay, Ohio, was westbound Thursday morning on Interstate 44 near Exit 161 in St. Robert when he ran his 2004 Honda Accord off the right side of the roadway about 7:30 a.m., struck an embankment, and became airborne. Rocha’s car landed on its wheels, although Trooper C. Stallcup said witnesses saw it bounce at least three times, and came to rest on the shoulder of the interstate just west of the Exit 161 on-ramp.

Rocha, who had been wearing his seat belt, suffered moderate injuries and was transported by Pulaski County Ambulance District personnel to Phelps County Regional Medical Center in Rolla. St. Robert firefighters and two St. Robert police officers also assisted at the crash scene.

Rocha’s vehicle was removed by Jack’s Towing. Stallcup said citations are pending.

On Thanksgiving evening, state troopers in the area made two unrelated arrests:

• Troopers in Pulaski County arrested Jeffrey N. Ransick, 29, of Plato, at 10:55 p.m. on charges of driving while intoxicated and careless and imprudent driving. Troopers transported Ransick to the Waynesville Police Department where he was subsequently released.

• Troopers in Laclede County arrested Herbert M. Mize, 48, of St. Robert, at 11:45 p.m. on charges of felony driving while intoxicated, endangering the welfare of a child, careless and imprudent driving, failure to use child restraints, and failure to use a seat belt. Troopers transported Mize to the Laclede County Jail where he was placed on a 24-hour hold.

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