One man dead, one in surgery after motorcycle trio collision

Aftermath of a collision between two cars and three motorcycles at Riverside Drive and 2450 East, St. George, Utah, June 28, 2014 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — One motorcycle rider has been pronounced dead after a head-on collision Saturday, which involved three other motorcycles and two vehicles on Riverside Drive. One of the other injured motorcycle drivers was also taken into surgery with non-life threatening injuries.

The accident occurred Saturday shortly after 2 p.m. at the intersection of 2450 East and Riverside Drive in St. George. Witnesses and involved parties said a Jeep crossed into oncoming traffic and struck a Ford Ranger which was stopped in the middle turning lane, and then went on to hit a trio of motorcycle drivers traveling in the opposite direction, according to a statement released today by the St. George Police Department. The first motorcycle driver was hit by the Jeep and knocked into the second, and the last motorcycle driver was hit head-on.

The man driving the last bike was ejected and impacted the Jeep, and then landed on the pavement. The force of the impacts resulted in severe head trauma, according to the statement, and the man later died.

The first motorcycle driver struck by the Jeep also sustained injuries to his lower extremities and was later taken into surgery at Dixie Regional Medical Center. At this point, it does not appear that any of his injuries will be life-threatening, according to the statement.

The third motorcycle driver initially remained on scene to speak with investigators but was later taken to Dixie Regional Medical Center for evaluation. The driver of the Jeep appeared to be uninjured at the time of the accident.

This accident is still actively under investigation.

The St. George Police Department’s Accident Reconstruction Team, on-call detective, on-call captain, and a representative of the Washington county Attorney’s Office all responded to the scene.

This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

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Email: dallred@stgnews.com

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

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42 Comments

  • Chuck Brown June 29, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    I wonder if the police are going to investigate the person causing the accident cell phone?? I wonder if they where texting at the time and lost sight of the road? Texting and driving do not mix. Put your phone down until you get to where your going.

  • St. George Resident June 29, 2014 at 7:16 pm

    Was the dead guy wearing a helmet?

    • Utah Motorcyclist June 30, 2014 at 9:46 am

      Whether he had a helmet on or not is irrelevant. Why is that always the first question? He was obviously not at fault. Also Utah helmet laws do not require it on an adult.

      • Christine June 30, 2014 at 10:52 am

        Nah, you have to rely on common sense to safely drive a motorcycle. It is not irrelevant, because if he had a helmet on,he might not have died. If someone is going to report on an incident, they should report all of the details.

      • Jen Lindley July 1, 2014 at 3:28 pm

        They should though.

  • seadog June 29, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    look at the damage to the bike and the Jeep and tell me that you honestly think a helmet would have saved his life.

    • St. George Resident June 29, 2014 at 10:09 pm

      No one can tell you that “a helmet would have saved his life” because we do not live in a hypothetical world.

      What I can tell you is that I’ve had several friends over the years who have survived worse accidents than this and they all attributed it to wearing a helmet. A head injury can make even a minor crash fatal. Remember a few years ago when a guy on a bike died on the Blvd in a fender bender, when his head hit the pavement. His body barely had a scratch on it.

      • Cakey June 30, 2014 at 3:01 am

        If we don’t live in a hypothetical world, then why would you ask if he was wearing a helmet? Would knowing the status of his headgear change anything?

      • Cakey June 30, 2014 at 3:04 am

        Oh, and FYI, the man’s injuries were not just limited to his head. Look at the wreckage photos, as Seadog pointed out.

  • Red Rocker June 29, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    A helmet always increases your chances. I have seen patients survive severe trauma. But, without a functioning brain you are a burden on your family.
    There is no logical reason to go bare headed on a motorcycle.
    A year working on a Neuro ward gave me too much exposure to this sort of tragedy. Nobody looks cool there.

    • Cakey June 30, 2014 at 2:55 am

      The man who died wasn’t trying to look cool. He was 47 years old and had been riding bikes for over 30 years. Everyone close to him is extremely saddened and shocked, especially since he was usually so cautious. Please don’t judge people you haven’t met.

      • Red Rocker June 30, 2014 at 9:07 pm

        At the time I made my post we didn’t know whether the deceased wore a helmet I stand by my statement about the necessity of wearing a helmet. Going Bareheaded isn’t about liberty, freedom, or making a statement about rebelliousness. It is choosing to ignore plain fact. Volitional ignorance, as it were.

        RR

  • Bob June 29, 2014 at 11:06 pm

    sounds a bit like negligent homicide to me… what excuse is there for this type of thing???

  • Cakey June 30, 2014 at 3:07 am

    Why is everyone asking if the jeep driver was on his phone and the deceased motorcyclist was wearing a helmet? As If those things make this any more or less tragic. A man is dead, another has to live with guilt, and nothing changes that.

    • Mike June 30, 2014 at 12:02 pm

      I am very sorry for your loss. You sound like you are close to him and his family. It is indeed a tragedy. People are asking if he was wearing a helmet and if the driver was on the phone in order to make us all more aware of possible ways to prevent such tragedies in the future. Nothing will change his death, but awareness of distracted driving will perhaps prevent another family from having to go through this.

      • Maggie September 16, 2014 at 10:20 am

        Very well said Mike.

    • St. George Resident June 30, 2014 at 5:07 pm

      Why not?

  • EL JEFE June 30, 2014 at 7:51 am

    Distracted driving raises its evil head….when will these people learn??
    I continue to see drivers of all ages drive and manipulate a cell phone, even after a law became effective prohibiting it. Sadly more lives will be lost due to cell phone distractions while driving.

  • David June 30, 2014 at 9:13 am

    Helmet or not, the driver of the jeep was in the wrong lane and hit them head on. His fault the rider died, not the fault of the rider.

  • My Evil Twin June 30, 2014 at 9:16 am

    And apparently, the driver who caused all of this walked away uninjured. I hope that every day of his (or her) life, for the rest of his (or her) life, they will remember this and regret whatever actions they did that caused it. I also hope they are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

    • Bob June 30, 2014 at 11:18 am

      There needs to be jail time here. This is not so much an accident as it is blatantly reckless driving. This driver should not be on the road.

  • Shorty June 30, 2014 at 10:55 am

    NO.. to answer the question “was the driver on his phone”. He wasn’t he made the mistake of taking his eyes off the road for a few seconds “something many of us are guilty of” and before he realized he had drifted and was in line with the truck in the turning lane. He made the mistake of swerving into on coming traffic to avoid the truck and will absolutely live with this guilt for the rest of his life. He is a young man, who made tragic lapse in judgment. Not someone who did this intentionally. I myself have been distracted while driving, either by my kids, or something else, briefly, innocently. Look at the lady that recently went off the road reaching for a water bottle that had falling down by her feet. Luckily no one was hurt, but still a distracted driver. It can happen in a second, by more than just a cell phone. This is such a tragedy for EVERYONE involved. My heart aches for the men hurt, the families that lost their loved one AND the driver of the jeep.

  • Shorty June 30, 2014 at 10:57 am

    *fell

    • NoneYa June 30, 2014 at 1:18 pm

      why don’t you all get up off your lazy … stop feeding of the negative things that happen in this world and actually do something positive, instead of commenting saying what you think should happen to this driver, or whether the motorcyclist should have been wearing a helmet or not. do yourself a favor.. how about you try and do something for the world in a positive way, YOU help Do your part in doing,thinking,being more positive . Stop worrying so much about all the horrible things on the news, the news is Negative! if all you are gonna post is hurtful,rude,unkind comments that are going to put people down. I Challenge ALL of YOU to THINK TWICE and NOT do it, Feel the difference. Be a little more compassionate about things, and thank God you aren’t in this position because it could be you! the only reason i say this is because yes i do know those involved with the accident. we pray for all of them Everyday! Even the driver! Don’t single anyone out! i’m done here! have a wonderful day!

      • Shorty July 2, 2014 at 8:57 am

        Thanks who every you are, I also know the driver and he is devestated and scared. I wouldnt for a minute want to be in his shoes. This was an accident, an unfortunate heartbreaking accident.

  • winter June 30, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    We are all distracted as we drive. When we look for the business we plan on pulling in to. When we change the radio dial, pick up our drink cup or wave to someone as we pass. I’ll bet anyone of us could be followed on a daily basis and see we were distracted in one way or another. That’s what the ads on billboards are meant to do. Or signs for businesses along the street. To draw our attention their way which is a distraction to driving. I agree with Shorty. This was a bad accident and many will suffer because of it. My sympathy goes out to all those involved.

    • Jon July 1, 2014 at 3:47 am

      Ya, I’ve been distracted, but I never killed anyone. There are no excuses here, just consequences. A relative of mine is now dead a family is torn apart as children have lost their father. If you are advocating that it’s okay to be distracted while you drive, to the level that it’s acceptable to swerve into oncoming traffic, then I sincerely hope that you and anyone who agrees with you surrenders their driver’s licences immediately.

  • Heather Oxendine July 1, 2014 at 4:00 am

    Shorty, thank you for saying exactly what I wanted to say. Honestly people! It was an accident. My heart is broken for ALL involved. What bothers me about having to know if he was wearing a helmet or if the driver of the jeep was using his phone, is so that you can further judge them. Stop the judging!!! Those involved in this accident and the families have all been through enough, I beg you to give them all a break. I will be praying for involved in this horrible situation. God Bless!

  • Heather Oxendine July 1, 2014 at 4:18 am

    One more thing! It is not just this article that the negative comments appear. It is disheartening when the St George news posts an article and all people can do is pick it apart, whether it be, spelling, not enough information, bad mouthing our law enforcement, etc. I appreciate the fact that I know what is going on around town. Also, the last time I checked, I don’t pay a thing to read this page. Our law enforcement does so much more than we know about. I feel like some you should start a FB page called ST George Negative Nellies. This would enable us to choose not to take part in your little club! If you are on here, you should be over the age of 18, which makes you an adult, act like it. Be considerate of others and try to be positive! The comments the past couple of days regarding this accident have been heart wrenching! Please have some compassion!!!

    • Sweet Jude July 3, 2014 at 12:14 pm

      Of course it was an accident, Heather Oxymethadone. Your last name says it all. How about that, eh? Have you ever just wondered that personal responsibility could have saved this man’s life? There is no doubt that people like you would let your distracted kids drive without considering for a second that their blatant negligence could cost someone else a life. That says a lot about your shallow thinking. If I were you, I would go to the DMV and surrender my driver’s license immediately, and anyone who belongs in your immediate family. It’s just a thought…;)

  • Tom July 1, 2014 at 7:28 am

    “This would enable us to choose not to take part in your little club!” …so stop reading before you get to the comment section. This is a negative situation. Why in the world would the comments be positive?

    To those who have said driving distracted is “something many of us are guilty of” and “We are all distracted as we drive” being distracted for a second and the time it must have taken for this driver to get himself into the turning lane is two very different things. Don’t reach for the water bottle while speeding around a curve. Don’t turn your head to look for a store while you are approaching stopped or slowing traffic. Wait until the road is clear and straight before you change the radio station or turn your head to check on the kids. And for everyone’s sake PUT DOWN THE PHONE. Everyone is distracted by the world around us. Most of us are smarter about it.

  • Palm July 1, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    The intersection at 2450 is a dangerous intersection and needs a traffic light. The road construction on 2450 just compounds the problem. My heart goes out to all the people involved in this accident.

  • Rick July 2, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    Do you people have nothing to do but make comment after comment? Do none of you have anyone at home to talk to, so you feel the need to make a tragic situation a debate. Is your opinion all you have? If so…get some professional help. The man who died was a good man and my friend. If you all feel the need (and have all this time) to post; post your condolences for the families involved. Period. There may be a time for crusading…this is not it.

    • Sweet Jude July 3, 2014 at 12:16 pm

      Then tell your friends to just not come on the website. Plain and simple. Let them mourn if they want to mourn. No one is infringing upon their rights. Not saying that I don’t feel bad for this situation. It’s called wisdom.

  • Tayler July 8, 2014 at 1:46 am

    You people are sick. The man killed was my dad. He left 8 children behind, one of which an 8 mo old baby. A 2 year old granddaughter. He was extremely vigilant about wearing a helmet. He always wore one and made us wear one if we were riding together. He was the poster boy for motorcycle safety. He wasn’t wearing one that day because he had just gotten a cyst on his head surgically removed, and it was very painful to wear a helmet at that time. He was driving with his HOG buddies from the weekly Saturday BBQ at Harley. The usual staggered formation, speed limit. Just a few middle-aged guys driving through town like every other Saturday. Yes, I admit that his life just might have been spared if he had forced a helmet. Why does Utah have so many deadly collisions? I live in a metro California area and I am still blown away by the amount of deadly auto collisions in that god forsaken state. Why isn’t it law to wear a helmet? Almost EVERY single motorcycle driver I saw in the 9 days I was there was NOT wearing a helmet. And yet police spend their time giving out tickets for going 80 in a 75. I guarantee the “driver” of the jeep was texting or otherwise doing something stupid that got my 47-year-old vegetarian, exercise-daily, health freak father with 8 kids, a wife, and a grandchild lying in the ground right now. Your phones can wait. Everything can wait. 3 seconds of being selfishly absorbed in your own world can cost lives. So to answer your petty, immature, selfish questions… No, he wasn’t wearing a helmet. And I hope you never comment on anything so callously again. Think before your fat fingers type.

    • ... July 11, 2014 at 12:39 pm

      I am so very sorry for the loss of your father.

    • ... July 11, 2014 at 12:45 pm

      The driver of the jeep recently lost his own parents and would never have purposely taken a father away from his own children. He knows first hand how devastating it is to loose your parents. In reply to your certainty that he was texting and driving, after thorough investigation of his cell phone it was determined that he in fact was not texting and driving. It doesn’t excuse that he was distracted but in the seconds leading up to the accident when he had drifted into the turning lane he made the best decision he could with the information he had. He saw a truck in front him and cars to right. He swerved to left and didn’t see the motorcycles coming because the truck in the turning lane blocked his view of them.. He thought he was swerving into a lane with no traffic as opposed to the one that had traffic. It wont bring your father back and I am not saying that what he did was right. But sometimes accidents happen…

  • Mike July 8, 2014 at 9:07 am

    I am truly sorry for your loss. I am also a motorcyclist. Although the comments spoke of the death of your dad, not many were “sick” or “callous.” You are too close to the tragedy to be anything but hurt. I understand that.

    You are from California (helmet law state). You asked, “Why isn’t it law to wear a helmet?” (in Utah). Helmet laws don’t save lives, helmets might. Would a helmet law have prevented your dad from riding until his surgery wound had healed? If that is the case, as his child I would have wished for a helmet law also.

    As for distracted drivers, I agree with you. There is an epidemic of that here. But I also ride in California and have seen rampant distracted driving there too.

  • John July 28, 2014 at 5:28 am

    Rest in Peace, Dad.

  • Will August 3, 2014 at 11:15 am

    Charged with reckless driving but not manslaughter?

    41-6a-528. Reckless driving — Penalty.
    (1) A person is guilty of reckless driving who operates a vehicle:
    (a) in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property; or
    (b) while committing three or more moving traffic violations under Title 41, Chapter 6a, Traffic Code, in a series of acts occurring within a single continuous period of driving covering three miles or less in total distance.
    (2) A person who violates Subsection (1) is guilty of a class B misdemeanor.

    The code is clear, willful and wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property. Nevertheless, the second and more accurate charge is not filed,

    76-5-205. Manslaughter.
    (1) Criminal homicide constitutes manslaughter if the actor:
    (a) recklessly causes the death of another;
    (b) commits a homicide which would be murder, but the offense is reduced pursuant to Subsection 76-5-203(4); or
    (c) commits murder, but special mitigation is established under Section 76-5-205.5.
    (2) Manslaughter is a felony of the second degree.
    (3) (a) In addition to the penalty provided under this section or any other section, a person who is convicted of violating this section shall have the person’s driver license revoked under Section 53-3-220 if the death of another person results from driving a motor vehicle.
    (b) The court shall forward the report of the conviction resulting from driving a motor vehicle to the Driver License Division in accordance with Section 53-3-218.

    So, we have as an element of the first crime, Reckless driving, “willful and wanton disregard for the safety of persons” but apparently this does not meet the element of the manslaughter, “recklessly causes the death of another”.
    One once again has to ask, who does he know, does he have something damning on someone in local Law enforcement or politics, or is a paid confidential informant being protected by some agency?
    Of course it could also be ah, he just killed a biker. Would this have played out like this if it were a child on a bicycle, or an elderly couple? or was it just lazy prosecution on the part of our prosecutor.
    Perhaps the prosecutor’s office was too busy prosecuting their prostitution sting cases.
    The unanswered questions leave all us of wondering.
    One thing is for sure, and I say this as someone who reads your news site everyday and thinks that for the most part, you do a better job than the other guys, your reporting on this incident has been dismal…

  • Will August 3, 2014 at 11:51 am

    On another note, anyone who is making noise about a helmet, and the fact that dutch was not wearing one, is either a vested party or an idiot. The first fact is not wearing a helpful was not an element of this crime and wrongful death. The argument is almost like stating that if a person had been wearing a ballistic when someone was recklessly using a firearm, they would not be dead..Get real!

    The second fact, as someone who has worked many accidents, I can tell you that a helmet would not have saved Dutch.

    The third fact, and most important fact is, reckless driving was the cause of the manslaughter of Dutch. It was not an accident.

  • Will August 3, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    Sorry about the spell check errors…I meant helmet, not helpful…ballistic vest, not ballistic…

    I should have cooled down before after reading, before posting…

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