HURRICANE – Four people, including a 3-year-old boy, were taken to the hospital Friday afternoon after a single-vehicle rollover on Interstate 15 in Washington County. A man and his wife who witnessed the accident pulled over and aided the victims while waiting for first responders to arrive.
Jeff Vogel and his wife were traveling home to Cedar City on northbound I-15, just past Exit 16, at about 3:30 p.m. when they saw the accident occur. They witnessed a red Subaru Outback on southbound I-15 veer off the road into the median and start to roll.
“Smoke was going up in the air and all the dirt and debris was scattering everywhere, so I told my wife to pull over … and we did basic first aid on the victims,” Vogel said.
Four people – a woman, two teenage girls and a 3-year-old boy – were inside the Subaru when it rolled. Vogel said the woman appeared to have head trauma, and he administered basic first aid until the Utah Highway Patrol and other agencies arrived.
Vogel, a helicopter pilot with Upper Limit Aviation in Cedar City, said he used to be a combat lifesaver with the United States Marine Corps; he has basic knowledge to deal with combat injuries, so he did what he could for the accident victims.
“I just did what I could with the best I had and waited,” Vogel said.
Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Grant Hintze called Vogel a good Samaritan for aiding the victims.
The woman with the apparent head trauma had her neck supported by Vogel when UHP and other agencies arrived on scene, Hintze said.
The 3-year-old appeared to have an abrasion on his head from getting bounced around during the rollover, but there didn’t appear to be any other sign of injury. The child was properly restrained in a booster seat when the rollover occurred, Hintze said.
Hintze said the two teenagers were outside the Subaru and walking around when he arrived. They appeared shaken up but otherwise fine.
All occupants of the vehicle were taken to Dixie Regional Medical Center by ambulance, Hintze said. All of them had their seat belts on when the accident occurred, he added.
“The main thing on this, what hopefully causes it to be not so serious, is that all occupants were wearing their seat belts, which, in conjunction with the rollover and the momentum, could have possibly saved their lives,” Hintze said.
The cause of the accident is under investigation, though drowsy driving may have been a possible factor, he said.
Traffic on northbound and southbound I-15 passing by milepost 16 was reduced to a crawl for about 30-45 minutes as responders dealt with the accident.
Agencies that responded to the incident included the Utah Highway Patrol, Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Leeds Area Fire Department and Hurricane Valley Fire and Rescue.
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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