Odyssey spins on I-15, driver says ‘I had a dream’ foreboding accident

The Honda Odyssey sits off to the side of Interstate 15 just south of the Southern Parkway Exit, Utah, Sept. 19, 2014 | Photo by Aspen Stoddard, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A 19-year-old man lost control of his Honda Odyssey van early Friday morning and collided with a guardrail on Interstate 15 near mile marker 2.

Just before 6 a.m., Sean Nicholas Mason, of Beaver Dam, was on his way to work, traveling northbound in the slow lane on I-15 just south of the Southern Parkway Exit, when he said he suddenly felt his van jerk to the right.

“I was driving down the road and the front right tire blew. I felt the van pull to the left and I hit the guardrail,” Mason said. “The back end swung out and I spun out like five times back across the road. I hit the other guard rail and finally stopped.”

The Honda Odyssey sits off to the side of Interstate 15 just south of the Southern Parkway Exit, Utah, Sept. 19, 2014 | Photo by Aspen Stoddard, St. George News
The Honda Odyssey sits off to the side of Interstate 15 just south of the Southern Parkway Exit, St. George, Utah, Sept. 19, 2014 | Photo by Aspen Stoddard, St. George News

The woman driving the car behind the van had to slam on her brakes and once he came to a stop she pulled over and ran to the vehicle, Mason said.

St. George Communications Center received a call that a vehicle had struck the guardrail, Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Matthew Pratt said. UHP and St. George Police responded to the scene. The right lane around the incident was closed for about 15 minutes and St. George police officers assisted with traffic control.

“The driver said the van jerked to the right and it caused him to spin out,” Pratt said.

Mason was wearing his seatbelt and the van’s airbags deployed upon impact.

The aftermath of the accident where the guardrail peeled back from the cable barriers on Interstate 15 just south of the Southern Parkway Exit, Utah, Sept. 19, 2014 | Photo by Aspen Stoddard, St. George News
The aftermath of the accident where the guardrail peeled back from the cable barriers on Interstate 15 just south of the Southern Parkway Exit, St. George, Utah, Sept. 19, 2014 | Photo by Aspen Stoddard, St. George News

“Good thing he was wearing a seatbelt,” Pratt said.

Mason was issued a citation for failing to operate in one lane and his van was towed. The guardrail on the left side of the road peeled away from the cable barriers and approximately $1,000 worth of damage was caused by the collision, Pratt said.

“It’s crazy. I had a dream last night that I got into an accident and I kept spinning,” Mason said.

This report is based on preliminary information provided by responders and others on scene and may not contain the full scope of findings.

Update: In a follow-up communication, Pratt said that the van’s tire had not blown out, nor was there any visible damage involved that would have triggered the van’s spinning around. 

Related posts 

  • Another missed stop sign leads to 3-vehicle collision
  • Driver runs stop sign, flips passing truck on its side
  • Nevada Department of Transportation opens additional lanes on I-15 …

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27 Comments

  • Bretticus September 19, 2014 at 10:48 am

    “Mason was issued a citation for failing to operate in one lane…” Can someone tell me why the HP always “adds insult to injury” and cites you when you just incurred $1000s of dollars to your vehicle and narrowly escaped injury (or not?) Can you operate your vehicle in one lane as you’re spinning out of control?
    I mean, call it an inconvenience fee. I dunno. Is this a way of setting a precedent that you really need to make sure your tires are in good shape? Was he driving recklessly just before the accident. I know driving is a privilege but we already pay taxes and insurance for that privilege. Do we also need a citation to boot? Just seems odd to me.

  • Emily September 19, 2014 at 10:53 am

    He got a citation for failing to operate in one lane? I don’t think I could operate in one lane either if my front right tire blew. How fair is that?

  • Really?! September 19, 2014 at 10:53 am

    He was cited for not staying in his lane?! it was a freaking accident that could not be helped! He wasn’t weaving in and out of traffic or driving in both lanes. He lost a tire and lost control. You lose your steering tire, your going to have a hard time staying in one lane. Why not target the people who drive in both lanes? Don’t know how many times I have had to go on the rumble bars because people aren’t paying attention to what they are doing. Glad the kid is okay though.

  • tight magic undies September 19, 2014 at 11:27 am

    So he gets a citation for his tire blowing out? But a baby left in a hot car gets nothing?? He must not be in the same ward as the county prosecutor.

  • Doug September 19, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    I’m surprised they didn’t charge him for loitering.

  • DAVE RABBITT September 19, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    This article, at the end of the second paragraph, states: he said he suddenly felt his van jerk to the right.

    But then goes on to quote the driver (in the 3rd paragraph): “I was driving down the road and the front right tire blew. I felt the van pull to the left and I hit the guardrail”.

    But then goes on (in the 6th paragraph), quoting the officer as saying: ““The driver said the van jerked to the right and it caused him to spin out”.

    Perhaps the driver, after the right front tire blew and feeling the van pull to the right, compensated by quickly steering to the left, over-compensated when trying to steer back into the right lane, causing the vehicle to spin-out and hit the guardrail on the right?

    So yes – In that hypothetical scenario, the driver did “fail to operate in one lane”, due to his driving inexperience and/or error and was cited, accordingly.

    Hypothetically speaking (once again); If the driver suddenly released the accelerator and/or immediately applied the brakes, the sudden weight transfer to the front, could cause a loss of control.

    I’ve had front tires blow out before, twice on a dirt road and once, on asphalt. Luckily though, it wasn’t first thing in the morning, on the way to work while it’s still mostly dark, when I could have still had those morning cobwebs in my brain. In that scenario, it’s easy to understand how someone could have slightly panicked and over-corrected, causing them to crash.

    Luckily though, no one was hurt. (Well, except for that poor van and the guardrail!).

  • S. Carter September 19, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    He should’ve heeded the prompting he recieved from the holy ghost and called in sick to work this morning. Now he may have cost himself an opportunity to become a modern day prophet, seer, and revelator.

  • My Evil Twin September 19, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    I’m going to throw out a couple of points here. First off, if it was a tire failure that led to the accident, then he most likely did not have good tires. Or he had not checked the air pressure in his tires for quite some time. Checking your tires on a regular basis, is just common sense.
    Second, did he really have a tire failure that caused the accident, or did something else happen, such as falling asleep, or inattention or whatever. Sure the tire failed, but it may well have failed as a RESULT of the crash. Many times, tires will roll off a rim during a skid, particularly if they are not inflated properly.
    I know it may seem harsh to cite the young fellow, but the fact is, that no matter what happened, other than the very unlikely possibility of a manufacturer’s defect in the tire, he likely could have prevented the accident.
    OBTW, I too am glad that he is OK.

    • My Evil Twin September 19, 2014 at 1:24 pm

      One other thing, mini-vans are squirrelly handling in an emergency situation. They are very easy to over-steer. It is just the nature of the vehicle, so if you drive one, you need to be familiar with how it handles in an emergent situation.

  • a friend September 19, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    This was my son, Sean, who was lucky not to have been killed in this accident. It was my van that he was driving and the tires were basically new and did not have that many miles on them. We are planning on fighting the ticket that he so unfairly received. How in the … are you supposed to keep your vehicle in one lane when your tire suddenly blows at 70 mph? He did a great job by maintaining control the best he could. Luckily he was not seriously injured. Thank heaven for all those guardian angels we have watching over us….

  • Koolaid September 19, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    UHP at its finest for citing someone for an accident because a tire blew out. Meanwhile, their own can drive 100 mph down a busy city road and kill two women and later pulls onto the interstate and causes another accident. Any citations for either case?

  • Slim September 19, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    Well…….at least he didn’t use the “I ran a stop sign excuse” Heard enough of those lately. Having a dream is a unique approach to his situation. Interesting to see how that works out for him.

  • Native born New Mexican September 19, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    Amen guys! I was thinking the same thing. A ticket? Why? This just once again confirms my view of law enforcement. It is all about money and control with them.
    No heart or concern or charity for what just happened to this young man and if he doesn’t pay them their ticket money they will put out a warrant for his arrest and jail him down in the “lovely” Washington county jail! Lucky this didn’t happen on the AZ side of the trip. He will get put in jail all the way over the other side of Las Vegas in Kingman, AZ if he doesn’t give them the money. Any one want to defend the cop in this and spout the protect and serve line again for all of us reading this.?

    • My Evil Twin September 19, 2014 at 4:19 pm

      The cop doesn’t need to be defended for doing his job. And when it comes to spouting off, I don’t think even I can beat you. And I’ve got a lot of experience in spouting off. . .
      You obviously have spent your share of time behind bars, and it sounds like in several different areas. How does the little old Washington County lock up compare to other places you have been?

      • Native born New Mexican September 20, 2014 at 8:53 am

        If you can’t say something to the point of the article but only take personal shots at other posters then maybe you should not be posting anything at all. Just for the information I have had nothing but two traffic tickets in my whole life. I don’t like what i see law enforcement and the courts do to people around me. This ticket for an accident is one example of that. I am aware because of friends and family how the whole jail thing goes and it is something we as a society should be ashamed of. By the way are you a cop? I would hate to have you pull me over or come to my door step. You are the perfect example of who I am talking about.

        • Old Man September 20, 2014 at 11:12 am

          I’ll try being nicer if you’ll try being smarter.

          • Native born New Mexican September 20, 2014 at 12:35 pm

            You are still not being “nice”. Because you don’t like what I think and say does not make me or others who think like me stupid. Are you also in law enforcement?
            I guess we can see why there is a problem. Would more training help?

        • My Evil Twin September 20, 2014 at 7:56 pm

          And you are not taking “personal shots” at all law enforcement? Frankly my dear, I don’t give a darn* about your posts. You are just showing your own bias and ignorance. You are also lying through your teeth! You have posted on other articles of conditions you have personally “endured” at the Purgatory Jail. And now you are saying that you have never had anything but “two traffic tickets.” So one way or another, you are a liar, and a bad one at that.
          Oh and you can relax about me pulling you over. I retired many years ago.

          • Native born New Mexican September 20, 2014 at 10:35 pm

            If you read the comment closely I talked about a family member having a bad fall at the jail. Using words like liar just further shows the problem I am posting about. I have had two traffic tickets in my life. I have had family members and friends who have had terrible experiences dealing with jails, law enforcement and courts for no good reason. I am outspoken about these issues because of what I have seen and what I know as a result of these experiences. We have a corrupt legal system in this country. It can in no way be called a justice system.

  • Beerbelly September 19, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    This is called “CYA”. The UHP has to cite somebody in any property damage or injury accident so that insurance companies know who is at fault and who to sue.
    In this case it is adding insult to injury where there was only one car involved and it was circumstances beyond the driver’s control. He should fight the ticket and might actually win if he gets a sympathetic JP.
    Glad the driver was not injured and wish him the best.

  • HUMMYNBYRD September 19, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    I guess none of you have read the update??? There was NO flat tire. Sooooooo

    • Koolaid September 20, 2014 at 2:07 pm

      Did he hit something in the road and thought the tire blew out? Lots of rocks and debris on that stretch of road. Did he not have the proper mission requirements and recommends to get off with either a warning or assistance to get him home?

  • Bobber2 September 19, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    Was he worthy? Was the trooper worthy?
    I think not.

  • Colby S. September 19, 2014 at 11:48 pm

    I had a similar issue once I got ran off the road and I got a citation for not slamming on my brakes when the car would have hit me if I did. They said that a normal driver would have and I was like we’ll I drift and race so I know what to do in those kind of situations

  • dabros September 20, 2014 at 10:20 am

    Sean Mason is one of.my good friends Ihope he’s OK.. and …* the cop giving him I citation for not maintaining lane I’ve drove that mini van once it go’s one way it wants to whip back so other than him hitting the gard rail he did fine
    Ed. ellipsis …*

  • Retired Trooper September 20, 2014 at 11:23 am

    At the scene the Trooper can tell from evidence left by the vehicle, the tire (If it Blow), and the angle it hit the guardrail. Was it a gradual off the road or was it sudden? Was the tire flatten from impacting the guardrail or was there pieces of tread in the road or before the impact. Lot of evidences is at the scene of a crash and in the early morning hour not much traffic even the little evidence will be still there.

  • DAVE RABBITT September 20, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    “Signing a ticket is just your acknowledgment of receipt of the notice to appear. Because you are actually being charged with a violation of law, the officer could take you into custody if you refuse to sign the ticket. By signing the traffic ticket, you avoid being taken into custody and are actually released on your own recognizance pending the court date. It’s in your best interest to sign the ticket, so you remain free and retain your right to show up at the court hearing to dispute it or otherwise resolve the matter”.

    2014 State of Utah Uniform Fine/Bail Forfeiture Schedule (PDF)

    PAGE 43:
    41-6A-710(1) FAILURE TO STAY IN ONE LANE $120
    OR-
    41-6A-710(1)(A) TO OPERATE WITHIN A SINGLE LANE $120
    Either of these have a 35% Surcharge, so add another $42 onto the $120, for a total of $162.

    “In a follow-up communication, Pratt advised that the van’s tire had not blown out, nor was there any visible damage involved that would have triggered the van’s spinning around”.

    So be prepared to fined another (approx.) $1,000 for the damage to the guardrail.

    “(DPS) may allow you to take a driver improvement/defensive driving course to earn a point deduction”.

    I’m neither a lawyer, or a police officer – but I can read. It’s not rocket science to realize that it does ABSOLUTELY NO GOOD for everyone to whine about how unfair it was, that the driver received a citation. I think it’s in his best interest however, to prepare for the worst. Hire a lawyer, show up at your court hearing and stop blaming all of this on the officer, who wrote the ticket.

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