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‘A total blank:’ Tri-State man solves mystery of crash that nearly killed him

Mark Antoni knew he wasn’t speeding or under the influence, so why did he drive his car off the road?
Published: Nov. 26, 2021 at 9:44 PM EST
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Warning: Some of the images contained in the video above are graphic.

DEARBORN COUNTY, In. (WXIX) - A man has a new lease on life thanks to a medical diagnosis only revealed by the crash that nearly killed him.

Mark Antoni, 59, was driving his dump truck west on IN-48 around 5 p.m. on Oct. 5. He remembers it as a sunny day just before the weekend. What he doesn’t remember is what happened next.

“It is a total blank. I don’t really remember,” Antoni said Friday. “They said that I went off the road to the right and then I crossed back over the road into a ditch.”

That’s exactly what the Dearborn County Sheriff’s Office says. Antoni crossed both lanes of IN-48 before coming to a rest on the south side of the road.

UC Air Care transported Antoni to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center with serious injuries, including broken ribs and internal bruising.

But it doesn’t stop there: “I was literally almost scalped,” he said. “It went all they way back. They said you could see my skull.”

What caused the crash? The sheriff’s office never said, and even days afterward, Antoni himself was in the dark.

He knew he wasn’t speeding or under the influence, so Antoni asked his doctors.

“When I was able to talk to someone a couple of days later, they said when I arrived at the hospital, my oxygen levels were low,” he said. “After a couple of days of running through tests, they asked me if I had sleep apnea.”

Antoni took the test, and sure enough, he had it.

Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder where breathing intermittently stops and starts. One of the symptoms is extreme fatigue after a full night of sleep. Moreover, according to research from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, those with sleep apnea are more than twice as likely to be in a crash compared to the normal population.

Ever since the test, Antoni has been on a machine that lessens the side effects of sleep apnea.

He still has a long road to full recovery from the injuries he sustained in the crash, but after getting the “all clear” from doctors and returning from the hospital this week, he’s living with new purpose.

“If people don’t think there’s a God upstairs, and a guardian angel, I’m living proof of that,” he said.

Antoni doesn’t see himself returning to driving trucks, but he is driving—as a Door Dash employee.

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