Distracted driver plunges into lake - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Distracted driver plunges into lake

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

Near the end of Country Club Road, the signs that say an "approaching right turn" and "not a through street" weren't enough for Lake Charles' Shawna Simmons.

"It was just like do-do-do-do and I  was just crawling up on land and I was like, 'what the hell just happened?,' " said Simmons, who drove her car into the lake. 

During a drive through the neighborhood Wednesday morning, she took her eyes off the road for just a minute too long. 

"I didn't give myself enough time from when I looked down to when I looked up," Simmons said. "It was just totally crazy, it just happened."

When she looked up, she was breaking through guard rails and flying her Dodge Avenger into the lake.

"It was totaled. Totaled. They said there was no way I could save it," she said.  

To Simmons' credit, the end of the road is at the bottom of a short road decline and could catch you off guard if you don't expect it, which may be the reason she's not the only one it's happened to. 

"This is not the first time this is actually - we've been here since 2006 - this is actually the second time, if not third," said neighborhood resident, Rita McClain.  

Even seventh grader Thomas Lundy has seen his fair share of cars in the water near his house. He said his dad is one of the people who have repaired the broken guard rails. 

"People do this more than you think," said Lundy. "More than you'd possibly think it would happen."

"I don't know if the guards are enough to show that hey, this is water here," said McClain. "I just think that maybe there might need to be something more."

Until "something more" comes, Simmons has her own piece of advice for motorists.   

"Pay attention when you're driving," she said. "I'm probably one of the worst people who's like oh no I can multi-task, I'm great at multi-tasking, I can look at my phone and then I can do this and change the radio ... no, we saw where that got me," she laughed. 

Lake Charles Police say they've responded to accidents at that location twice in the past few years. 

Copyright 2013 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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