Breaking: UCF freshman Alec Stettler was hospitalized early Tuesday morning after spending two full days stuck in Orlando traffic. Trapped in his car without sufficient food and water, Alec suffered extreme dehydration and fainted behind the wheel during what should have been a typical drive back to school for the coming semester.
Area woman Bobbi Hacker found Alec unconscious in his car after he failed to close the two foot gap between himself and the car in front of him. Our Stallion correspondent was able to reach Hacker for comment: “At first I thought he just wasn’t paying attention, but after a solid thirty minutes of blasting my horn at him, I knew something must be wrong.” Hacker proceeded to tell us that her thoughts and prayers are with Alec and his family, but added that it was very irresponsible of him to not plan ahead by bringing enough nutrients to sustain him on his trek down I4.
According to the Orlando Police Department, this isn’t the first time something like this has happened. In 2017 alone, there were six cases of dehydration between exits 71 and 92 on I4, four of which resulted in overnight stays in the hospital.
“We’ve been lucky,” stated John W. Mina, Orlando Chief of Police, “if it wasn’t for people’s general impatience in traffic, I don’t think we’d catch these cases as early, or as often, as we do.” The Orlando Police Department has been running several awareness campaigns to warn people to come to the highway prepared. “We recommend that nobody approach the highway with less than three full days of food and water accessible from the driver’s seat and that no drivers, under any circumstances, put their vehicle into park. If a driver loses consciousness, we would prefer they idle into the car in front of them so that we know something is wrong,” Mina added.
Alec’s family requested that news outlets stay out of his hospital room, but he appeared to be awake and in good spirits when the Stallion’s correspondent looked through the window.
It’s the beginning of a new semester which means that the application to join our team is open until Friday, January 12th. Applicants should expect an interview and be available for our first meeting of the semester on Saturday, January 20th.