UPDATED 6:30 p.m. Utah Department of Public Safety issued it’s media release with some factual differences in this story, which St. George News has confirmed with Trooper Jalaine Hawkes, public information officer for the Utah Highway Patrol. These include: the destination for the driver transported by Life Flight was Las Vegas; the number of children in the vehicle was five. Those updates and new information are integrated into this story.
NEW HARMONY – A single-vehicle rollover occurred on Interstate 15 Thursday afternoon, temporarily closing travel lanes.
Trooper Lawrence Hopper, Utah Highway Patrol, said an SUV pulling a trailer rolled over on southbound I-15 near the New Harmony exit at milepost 42. The first reports of the accident to 911 were made around 2:15 p.m. and drew response from the UHP and Cedar City. The DPS media release issued later in the day stated the vehicle was a Ford Excursion hauling a travel trailer; it was traveling in the outside lane when, for unknown reasons, the trailer began to whip about causing the adult male driver to lose control of the vehicle.
“After leaving the roadway to the right, the vehicle rolled over and the roof caved in over the drivers head causing a serious head injury,” the DPS release stated. “As the vehicle rolled off the highway, the trailer became unattached and also rolled over.”
The occupants of the vehicle were a family of seven, Trooper Jalaine Hawkes said. Along with the driver and his wife in the driver and front passenger seat, respectively, were their five children in the back seats of the Excursion. All seven were wearing seat belts according to the DPS release.
Hopper said that the adult female and children were readily removed from the rolled SUV, but the adult man was pinned and had to be extricated. Hawkes said the woman and children suffered minor cuts and bruises and were all taken by ambulance to Cedar City Hospital.
The man, in very critical condition, was transported by Life Flight to Las Vegas; Hawkes said no further specifics on the hospital or the man’s condition had been reported to UHP as of 6:30 p.m.
Lanes were temporarily closed to allow clearance for the Life Flight helicopter to land. No other vehicles or property were involved in the accident and the scene was cleared by 3:18 p.m.
St. George News Editor-in-Chief contributed to the update to this report.
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