Deputy Vance Berry with the Polk County Sheriff's Office looks into the totaled car of 18 year old Brittney Slade of Groveton.
Large Truck Crashes Into Lake, Alleged Intoxicated 18 Year Old Responsible, ONALASKA, May 19, 2011 - Just minutes after 4 am on May 19, 2011, a white 2005 International 4300 driven by Dennis Morgan, 58, of Hutto, was east-bound on Big bridge in Onalaska. According to Morgan, a small car (blue Toyota Corolla) driven by Brittney Slade, 18, of Groveton was west-bound and swerved into his lane. The two collided. Slade's vehicle spun around and came to rest facing east on the bridge while Morgan lost control of his truck and left the road to the left, struck the guard rail, went over the guard rail and straight down the embankment leading into Lake Livingston. "I tried to open my door but it wouldn't open, so I swam to the passenger's side door and it wouldn't open either" he told PolkCountyToday.com. "My window was rolled down a few inches so I grabbed it at the top and pulled several times as hard as I could. The thing finally gave way and I was able to swim out of my truck to safety". "I was scared and was praying". "I think that's the scardest I've ever been in my life". Dennis Morgan emerged from Lake Livingston dripping wet, but otherwise okay. As for the Brittney Slade, her car was totaled. Slade was checked by EMS personnel from Americare and released and seemed physically okay. Officer Josh Alexander with the Onalaska Police Department placed Slade under arrest for driving while intoxicated. Slade allegedly confessed to being on four different types of medication and there was an empty beer bottle on the floor of her vehicle. Slade allegedly stated to police that she wasn't driving the vehicle, but that "a man" was driving the car. When asked where he was she said he left on foot westward down the bridge. When asked what his name was, she said she didn't know his name. Further, a witness who drove up on the accident was approached by Slade who was allegedly begging to be driven away from the scene. The driver refused. Slade was arrested for DWI and taken to Livingston Memorial Hospital to have blood withdrawn. Traffic on the big bridge was partially blocked in both directions as an investigation and cleanup took place. A heavy duty wrecker from Riley Wrecker Service recovered Morgan's truck and trailer. The scene was cleared shortly before 12 noon.
A defiant Brittney Slade is placed under arrest
Truck and trailer recovered (time lapse video)
Damaged guard rail on the Big Bridge shows where a large truck crashed into and went over into Lake Livingston. The truck was pulling a loaded flatbed trailer.
The trailer was loaded with guard rail and wooden posts for highways (ironically). Guard rail on the back of the trailer is barely visible and a floating load of short wooden poles was all tht was visible from the truck and trailer.
After several tries, truck driver Dennis Morgan of Hutto, Texas was able to brake the glass with his hands and swim out of his truck to safety.
18 year old Brittney Slade of Groveton was allegedly intoxicated and denied driving the vehicle.
Volunteer Firemen on the scene looked incredulous as they listened to Slade's story.
After slade was examined by EMS Personnel she was released. Officer Josh Alexander with Onalaska Police Department placed Slade under arrest.
Slade didn't want to cooperate with Officer Alexander and was both physically and verbally contrary.
TXDOT Representative Lamar Duff
Brittney Slade sticks her toungue out at the PolkCountyToday.com camera from the back of an Onalaska patrol unit.
Onalaska Police Chief, Ron Gilbert
A worker with Riley Heavy Duty Wrecker Service swims in the water to hook up cables in order to pull the truck and trailer from Lake Livingston.
As Riley pulled out the trailer, the attahced truck slowly began to come into view (upside down).
The trailer was detatched so that they could bring it up first.
A worker from TXDOT cuts the guard rail in order to get the truck and trailer through and back up onto the road.
TXDOT workers carry a section of guard rail away creating an opening to get the truck and trailer through.
The trailer was brought back up onto 190 and towed away.
(L-R) Onalaska Fire Chief, Jay Stutts, Mike Knight with Trinity River Authority, and truck driver Dennis Morgan
Next was the truck (2005 International 4300).
The truck was dragged up the embankment to the road.
James Riley (center) is a specialist at cleaning up the big wrecks. Riley prepares the vehicle to be turned upright and towed.
Riley's truck is equipped with the heavy duty goods to get the job done.
Truck on the road, upright, and ready to be towed (around 11:15 am).
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