Top Down? Bundle Up! Frozen Driver Leads to Hamptons Rotary Mishap

Don't drive with your top down in the cold, especially across a rotary
Don't drive with your top down in the cold, especially across a rotary, Photo: Jess Diks/123RF

A mishap involving a sporty convertible held up traffic for several hours at a Hamptons rotary on Tuesday afternoon.

Witnesses say that the car’s driver, who had put his convertible’s top down in spite of fairly frigid temperatures, drove his vehicle into the rotary properly but then failed to make the necessary turn to follow the road. Instead, he attempted to drive straight across the center island of the rotary. But because of heavy rains the day before, the dirt surface of the island had become muddy and treacherous, and the convertible became stuck in a deep rut left by a truck tire.

For reasons that were soon to become clear, the driver didn’t appear to react to this situation—witnesses recounted watching him stare rigidly ahead with his hands gripping the wheel and his foot continuing to depress the accelerator, sending mud splattering and making his predicament worse.

Some people thought the man might be suffering from a seizure. However, when the Hamptons Police Department arrived they soon discovered that the man was in the early stages of hypothermia, and was immobilized by the cold temperatures in his car.

“He was hot-dogging,” Hamptons Police spokesman Larry Hirsch said. “Sure, the sun was out, but it was only about 63°. He thought he could look macho driving around with the top down and wearing just a shirt and pants. But that cold air combined with the speeds he was going froze him up pretty good.”

Hirsch pointed out that it was only through luck that the man’s complete immobilization took place where it did. “He’s lucky he got stuck in the mud, although it didn’t quite fit the image he was trying to project! It could have been a lot worse.”

According to Hirsch, the Hamptons Police Department is now planning an awareness campaign aimed at convertible owners.

“Our new slogan for the colder months: ‘Top down? Bundle up!’”

Read More Tales from the Hamptons Police Blotter

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