Officers investigating 2 accidents caused by 1 driver; possible hit-and-run

Bikers Against Child Abuse members stand with responders at the scene of an accident on Green Springs Drive, Washington, Utah, Nov. 4, 2014 | Photo by Brett Barrett, St. George News

WASHINGTON CITY — Officers are investigating the cause of two accidents that witnesses and an accident victim said they believe to be hit-and-run collisions committed by the same driver. Both accidents occurred just off of Green Springs Drive in Washington Tuesday evening.

At about 6:15 p.m., Chris Hatanaka, a LaVerkin resident, was heading home from work on his motorcycle and was waiting at a red light at the intersection of Telegraph and Green Springs Drive, waiting to turn right onto Green Springs Drive, when he said he was hit from behind. (See ed. note.)

Authorities respond to two accidents caused by one driver on Green Springs Drive, Washington City, Nov. 4, 2014 | Photo by Brett Barrett, St. George News
Authorities respond to two accidents caused by one driver on Green Springs Drive, Washington City, Nov. 4, 2014 | Photo by Brett Barrett, St. George News

“My head struck back and I looked off to the side, and the guy took off,” Hatanaka said.

Robert Anderson, who witnessed the accident, said a man driving a truck hit Hatanaka and then left the scene, but some Bikers Against Child Abuse motorists, who were present when the accident occurred, pulled up in front of the truck to stop the driver after he hit a second vehicle while heading onto the Interstate 15 on-ramp.

“That guy hit (Hatanaka) and kept going, and people started coming up to him and he took off and tried getting on the freeway,” Anderson said of the truck driver. “One of the BACA bikers went down and pulled in front of him.”

Anderson said the truck looked like a pest control vehicle. However, Washington City Police spokesman Ed Kantor later described the truck stopped by the BACA bikers as one pulling a trailer carrying all-terrain vehicles. The truck pulling the trailer had been in the right turning lane behind the motorcyclist and they were both attempting to turn right, he said. (See ed. note.)

“(Hatanaka) denied medical, but the driver of the truck suffered some medical event,” Kantor said. “It’s unknown of the cause at this time, but he was attended to by medical and transported by ambulance.”

Traffic slows due to two accidents that took place off of Green Springs Drive in Washington City, Utah, Nov. 4, 2014 | Photo by Brett Barrett, St. George News
Traffic slows due to two accidents that took place off of Green Springs Drive in Washington City, Utah, Nov. 4, 2014 | Photo by Brett Barrett, St. George News

Kantor said officers at the scene did not specify the type of vehicle the truck driver hit after striking Hatanaka’s motorcycle.

“It’s still under investigation, as to the cause of the crash,” Kantor said. “It could have stemmed from the medical event that happened, or there may have been an impairment.”

The second vehicle was driven by an adult male, and four children were riding as passengers, Kantor said; all were uninjured.

The Washington City Police Department, Washington City Fire Department, Utah Highway Patrol and Gold Cross Ambulance attended to the accidents.

Traffic was delayed for a short time; one lane was opened very quickly following the accident, Kantor said.

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

St. George News Reporter Brett Barrett contributed to this report.

Ed. notes: Name of motorcycle rider corrected.

The witness, Anderson, described the truck as looking like a pest control vehicle. The truck ultimately stopped after the hit-and-run was, rather, described as a truck pulling a trailer of ATVs. Clarification made.

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11 Comments

  • Zonkerb November 5, 2014 at 1:21 am

    Did this accident take place in a dance free zone.?

    • Phantom November 5, 2014 at 6:35 am

      It was in Washington, not St. George.

    • sleepy hallow November 5, 2014 at 8:56 am

      I think Washington City is an “No Permit Required To Dance” zone.

  • missy November 5, 2014 at 6:28 am

    Good job, BACA. I’m glad no one was hurt.

  • sagemoon November 5, 2014 at 8:44 am

    It’s good to see motorcycle riders taking care of each other. Good job stopping the crazy guy, BACA.

  • asianspa November 5, 2014 at 8:59 am

    When will the fundraiser and the GoFundMe page go up for the Hit N Run Victims??

  • Koolaid November 5, 2014 at 9:06 am

    How about a good ole community fundraiser to pay for this guy’s medical bill.

    • asianspa November 5, 2014 at 9:53 am

      If the GoFundMe pages made donations “Anonymous” only how many people would donate?? Seems like a lot of the St. George Business Elite think donating on a GoFundme page is the best way to allocate advertising and PR money. I am sorry but I dont care how much you donate to a GoFundMe , you can’t buy integrity. Sorry to all the fine St. George Business elite , realtors, insurance agents etc..

  • Melanee November 5, 2014 at 10:16 am

    This is why you do NOT drink & drive. Also for the correction it was the White Ford F150 extra cab with a trailer pulling a side by side on an open trailer who was the hit & run NOT the pest control truck. It all happened SO fast. The driver of the pest control truck drove to the next signal to HELP block in the fleeing driver of the F150 truck. Helps to know the correct story from someone who actually witnessed the hit & run.

    • Joyce Kuzmanic Joyce Kuzmanic November 5, 2014 at 11:51 am

      Yes, perhaps the inclusion of the description given by a witness was confusing, Melanee. He said he thought the truck looked like a pest control truck. The truck actually stopped after the hit-and-run was a truck towing a trailer with ATVs, as further reflected in the photos attached to the report. Clarification made.
      Thank you,
      ST. GEORGE NEWS | STGnews.com
      Joyce Kuzmanic
      Editor in Chief

  • Candice November 5, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    The driver of the hit and run vehicle quit breathing and his heart stopped. Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Matthew Pratt was able to give CPR on scene and regain breathing and heartbeat. The driver was released from Dixie Regional Hospital this morning and admitted into Washington County jail for suspician of driving under the influence.

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