OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Black ice was the cause for treacherous driving conditions on some parts of the metro earlier this week.
Local authorities said they responded to dozens of car crashes.
Seventeen-year-old Jack Morrison said he’s thankful to be alive after skidding off the road and plunging into cold water Monday near Switzer and 169th Street in Overland Park.
“If I didn’t have my seat belt on, it’s not a doubt in my mind that I wouldn’t be standing here today,” the Blue Valley Southwest senior said.
Morrison said Monday is a day he will never forget.
“I ride by it every day. It hurts a little bit. You relive it. I’ve been having nightmares about it,” Morrison said.
He’s still in shock he was able to walk away unharmed from the crash. The black ice caused Morrison to lose control of his 1993 Ford F-250 truck, hit a ditch and somersault into Coffee Creek.
He said everything happened so fast, but adrenaline kept him pushing.
“My truck flipped upside-down and sunk to the bottom of the water. I was upside down underwater. I was panicking hitting my seat belt button. I was finally able to get it off. I crawled out of the door and swam to the shore,” Morrison said.
Left soaking wet in 15 degree temperature, Morrison said the first thing he did was call his mother, who dialed 911.
The teen would escape the terrifying incident with no more than a scratch. He’d only need treatment for hypothermia.
“I was very lucky. Someone was watching out for me,” Morrison said.
The teen said he’s thankful for the support and help he received after the crash from first responders and friends.
Morrison said he was driving the speed limit and thought he was being careful, but believes it still wasn’t enough.
As winter approaches, the Blue Valley Southwest senior hopes to share his story, and his story will potentially save a life.
“It could have gone very badly. When it’s raining or snowing, there is nothing important enough to risk your life. Make sure you wear your seat belt and slow down when there are bad conditions,” Morrison said. “It’s just not worth it.”
Local engineers are reviewing the signage and road safety in the area.
His truck remains in the water, but Morrison and his parents are working with insurance and tow companies in order to get it out.