The ordeal began when police and emergency services received a call around 3.30am on Saturday morning about a single-car accident near Braås in central Sweden.
They arrived to find the 37-year-old’s car stuck in the ditch on the side of the road. While the man wasn’t injured in the crash, he was suspected of having been operating the vehicle under the influence of drugs.
“Normally they would take him to the station for tests and questioning,” police spokesperson P-O Jansson told the local Smålandsposten newspaper.
But the man refused to leave his car after police arrived, something which Jansson said was unusual, but not illegal, adding that police were able to carry out the necessary post-accident tests and formalities at the scene.
“If he’s not really drunk or intoxicated we can’t bring him in,” he told the newspaper.
He explained that there is no legal backing that would allow police to apprehend the 37-year-old who, according to Jansson, has every right to sit in his car on the side of the road.
However, the sight of a man sitting in a car crashed in the ditch has caused alarm among passing motorists, many of whom have called police to report what they assumed to be a dead man sitting in the vehicle.
“There ought to be some way to help him leave,” one motorist told the paper.
On Sunday night–nearly 48 hours after the crash–the 37-year-old confirmed that he hasn’t left his car since the accident occurred.
He said he was driving without a licence at the time of the crash and has previously been convicted of reckless driving.
The 37-year-old added that he hasn’t called for a tow truck because he doesn’t have the money to pay for tow, but also doesn’t want to leave his car out of fear it might be vandalized.
While paramedics gave him blankets and water, the 37-year-old told Smålansposten what he really needed was a telephone.
“If I’d been able to contact my friends in Åseda I could have been out of here in three hours,” he said.
In the meantime, however, police say the man can continue to sit in his car on the side of the road at least until the result of drug tests come back in two weeks.