Local woman with dangerously low blood sugar levels crashes on I-70

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LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. -- An off-duty driver examiner saw a woman driving erratically before crashing into a median. The woman's blood sugar level got dangerously low when she was driving east bound on I-70 and caused her to crash.

Thanks to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, she's still alive.

"My car stopped, I was in the median, I didn't quite understand how I got there," said Kristi Jenkins, who has type 1 diabetes.

"She was driving erratic from the shoulder over to the fast lane," said Cindy Durbin, who witnessed the whole thing, "almost hit two concrete pillars and bridges!"

Jenkins was heading home from work Thursday when her blood sugar levels dropped.

"The next thing I knew there were paramedics by my car," Jenkins said.

Durbin, an off-duty driver examiner for MSHP, happened to be driving behind Kristi and noticed something was wrong.

"I was scared for people that were trying to pass, I was scared for her," said Durbin, who put her emergency blinkers on to alert other drivers.

Durbin was on the phone with the highway patrol for 15 minutes before Jenkins finally crashed into the median. Durbin pulled over to help.

"She could talk, but she was very distraught," said Durbin. "Her being coherent was fading in and out."

Jenkins' blood sugar dropped to 29. Dr. Melissa Smith, with the Lee's Summit Medical Center said Kristi is lucky she walked away without any injuries.

"Typically you're looking for blood sugar over 60, that's typically as low as your body will go without showing symptoms," said Dr. Smith. "At 29, it would be very surprising that she is still functioning, still driving a car!"

Kristi said its unusual for her blood sugar to get that low.

"Sometimes with a dramatic drop like it did yesterday, it dropped way too fast for me to even recognize the symptoms," said Jenkins, "I'm very grateful that nobody got hurt, that no one else was involved!"

Doctors and the highway patrol say driving with certain medical conditions is just as dangerous as driving under the influence. They hope everyone takes the necessary precautions before getting behind the wheel.

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8 comments

  • Duke

    She had to feel the symptoms long before she reached a low 29. It doesn’t go from 60 to 29 in minutes, especially when she was sitting and not exerting herself. I think she was racing against the clock and probably thought she would make it home. She was wrong and should have been smart enough to either have sugar in the car or immediately stop and buy some candy. It was very poor judgement on her part and not only did she risk her life but she risked other lives, too. A ticket to teach her a valuable lesson would not be out of line.

    • Sarah Holt

      My Husband is a Type 1 diabetic I have watched hi test his blood sugar and it be over 100 and 15 minutes later he is flopping around in the throws of a diabetic seizure cause by his blood glucose plummeting to 24.

      I have watched him eat The equivalent of a full meal in Glucose tablets to bring it up out of the dumps and still not get above 85 after a 2 hour period.

      I worry each and every day he goes to work that he is going to wreck because of low blood sugar.

  • bab

    I have 2 type1 sons. You can drop quickly. And sometimes people cant tell. One of my boys had dropped to 28 . Scary. Part of the symptoms is not being very coherent. So its hard to function. She wouldnt have been in her right mind to know what was happening.

  • Melissa

    Oh how quickly everyone is to judge someone. Until you are in the other person’s shoes, how about we just be thankful that no one got hurt and the young lady that wrecked is going to make it home ok! I am diabetic and can tell you that usually when you are sitting doing nothing, that’s when your sugars drop and you DON’T notice it. It can happen, and you all should know that the body reacts differently for different people. STOP JUDGING!!!!! Jeesh!

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