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.)
“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.”
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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