DORR TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — The internet may love a video of a car jumping an overpass on US-131, but the driver who experienced it doesn’t.

“I don’t find it funny or amusing,” Chandler Cockerham said of the surveillance video circulating the web. “Kind of like reliving a nightmare every time I go online.”

Cockerham, 25, told Target 8 he fell asleep at the wheel seconds before his car drifted down the snow-covered embankment between the Dorr exit ramp and the southbound lanes of US-131.

“All (it) took me a second to doze off and then it happened,” Cockerham explained in a text exchange with Target 8.

The tilting of the embankment launched Cockerham’s black Chevy Impala onto the 142nd Avenue overpass, a stunning scene captured by a nearby business’s surveillance camera.

“I am very grateful that no one else (was harmed). I am (also) very grateful that my children can still be raised by their father,” Cockerham said in a text.

His vehicle landed on its side in a ditch just south of the overpass, between the on-ramp to US-131 and the southbound lanes of the freeway.

“I feel terrible. My nose is broken and my head is swollen,” Cockerham wrote via text message in the days following the accident.

A witness who attended the scene told News 8 that the driver of the car suffered a deep cut above one eye.

The same Good Samaritan said he spotted a car seat and initially feared a child was in the vehicle, but the driver quickly assured witnesses he was alone in the car.

Cockerham, a single father of two young children, told Target 8 he had been staying with a friend and was driving home to Kalamazoo at the time of the accident, which happened shortly after 2 p.m. on the 13 January.

“I probably drank two cocktails and a six-pack of beers and slept for four hours, woke up, ate something and had to come home, so I started to to drive. I didn’t feel intoxicated or tired and then in the blink of an eye everything changed,” Cockerham wrote via text message.

Michigan State Police reported that Cockerham showed “multiple signs of intoxication” after the crash. They are awaiting the results of a lab test to determine his blood alcohol level at the time of the incident.

“Results could come back in 1-3 months, but that’s a guess,” Michigan State Police Special Lt. DuWayne Robinson wrote in an email exchange with Target 8.

“The driver’s license has already been suspended, so he shouldn’t be driving at all. Hopefully he doesn’t have access to a vehicle,” Robinson wrote.

Cockerham, whose driving license was suspended in March 2021, is currently recovering from his injuries at home.

“This year has torn me apart…I love my kids to death but their daddy has gotten weaker this year,” Cockerham wrote.

State police records show the 25-year-old has previous convictions for operating while intoxicated, as well as a drug offense and running from police. His driving record shows two previous accidents, including one in which he was cited for leaving the scene of an injury accident.

“I didn’t feel groggy or tired at all,” Cockerham said of the minutes leading up to the Jan. 13 crash. “I just spent just a split second… When I woke up I was almost in the grass at the bottom of the hill and I looked down and saw about 75 (on the speedometer ).”

“I’m so grateful that no one else was harmed or hurt,” Cockerham wrote.

“I certainly wasn’t trying to hurt myself. I can never get away from my babies,” Cockerham said after Target 8 asked him at the start of the text exchange if he had pulled off the road on purpose.

Allegan County District Attorney Myrene Koch told Target 8 that her office has yet to receive a report or warrant request from the Michigan State Police regarding the incident.

“Once we do, we will review this material to determine the appropriate fee,” Koch wrote in an email.

MSP said he would seek various charges, including drunken exploitation.

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