Former University of Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson and a female passenger were reportedly assisted out of a Chevrolet Impala early Sunday after the now Jacksonville Jaguars running back drove into a Florida retention pond.
Hopefully, the incident will raise awareness of one of the most dangerous hazards drivers face on a daily basis, sleep deprivation. Robinson, 25, was asleep at the wheel when an officer responded, and authorities have confirmed he was not impaired, so he should not face a DUI charge.
Both Robinson and his passenger appeared to be asleep when the responding officer arrived at the pond at about 4:20 a.m. after the crash was reported. The officer approached the passenger side and knocked on the window to wake the two up, since the driver’s side of the car was submerged in the pond, and Robinson “opened his eyes and then went back to sleep,” according to the report.
Passenger Marissa O. Staples, 29, finally responded “what’s up,” to the officer’s continued knocks on the window, and the officer explained the car was in a pond and they needed to get out. After removing Staples, who initially refused to exit the vehicle, the officer was reportedly able to wake Robinson, turn off the car and remove his seat belt.
Robinson thought he was still on the road and didn’t want to exit the vehicle, according to the report. He eventually got out of the vehicle through the passenger’s side after several reported attempts to open the submerged driver’s side door despite the officer’s repeated warnings that the car was sinking in the pond.
The report did not indicate how a second officer screened Robinson at the scene for possible impairment or what tests if any were done to determine he was not, but no citations were issued. Some members of the Twitterati are speculating about how Robinson, known in college for his purposely unlaced cleats, and for running The Shoelace Foundation, managed to elude the officer’s gaze of suspicion.
Both Robinson and the Jacksonville Jaguars released statements expressing how grateful they were that no one was hurt. Neither statement included any comments about the specific time the officer reportedly arrived at the scene, so this writer will remain silent on that particular detail. We will keep an eye on training camp to see if Robinson winds up being a “top sleeper pick” for fantasy football this year.