(December 3, 2005)

"Sleigh" has minor damage, but Santa is OK

Sheriff's dispatchers were inundated with hundreds of calls reporting crash incidents throughout Johnson County Saturday night. While there were only about a dozen wrecks, some of the wrecks produced several dozen frantic 9-1-1 calls to dispatchers, who were left to sort through the mess to get emergency crews on the way. One of the crashes was on County Road 300N over Interstate 65. Sheriff's Deputy Travis Derrett and Reserve Deputy Ramona Jackson responded to the scene and found a White Ford pickup truck stuck over the top of the guardrail. The interstate overpass was ice covered due to the freezing rain that had fallen. The roadway was so slick it was difficult to remain standing upright. Deputies Derrett and Jackson were most surprised to find who the driver of the truck was: Santa Claus! Thankfully, Santa was not injured in the crash. While his "sleigh" did suffer some undercarriage damage, he was in good spirits after the incident. Santa commented how lucky he was that he was wearing his seat belt because he would have surely been injured. Graham's Wrecker Driver Jim Higginbotham, visible in the photo, successfully extracted the "snow white" colored truck from the guardrail. Area children should not be concerned about the incident, as Santa did not feel that this incident would put him or his Elves behind schedule. Other Johnson County drivers were not so lucky; Nearly a dozen other car crashes kept emergency workers busy as many drivers failed to slow down and adjust to the changing weather conditions.