ST. GEORGE — Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Danny Ferguson proved that history repeats itself when he was almost hit in a collision nearly identical to one he was involved in last November.
Friday afternoon, Ferguson had pulled over on Interstate 15 southbound, just past the Bluff Street exit in St. George, to pick up tire debris that was in the roadway.
As he was waiting for a break in traffic so he could pick up the debris, traffic started slowing down for him, he said.
A woman driving a Chevy minivan came up on traffic too fast and swerved out of the left lane, he said, but she lost control and came into the right lane “broadside.”
The minivan hit a white Ford truck, and the two vehicles collided only a couple of feet from where Ferguson was standing.
“It was a h— of an impact,” Ferguson said. “It sounded really, really loud. It sounded terrible.”
While this time Ferguson and his patrol car were unharmed, the situation was all too similar to last year’s collision, during which Ferguson was waiting to pick up debris in the road and the driver of a white pickup truck swerved out of slowing traffic and hit into the back of his patrol car.
Ferguson was luckily uninjured in both incidents.
However, Ferguson’s main concern after Friday’s collision were the passengers in the involved vehicles. There were two women in the minivan, one being the driver, and three little girls, ranging in age from about 6 months to 4 years old, Ferguson estimated.
While the children were mostly unharmed, the baby had some glass on her and the oldest girl recently had brain surgery, Ferguson said, so they were taken to the hospital as a precaution.
The woman passenger also had cuts on her arm and shoulder from glass from the windshield and passenger side window.
However, none of the passengers sustained life-threatening injuries, Ferguson said, and the baby was even smiling at him before she was transported to the hospital.
“It looks like everyone, overall, is going to be OK,” he said.
All five occupants of the minivan were transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center by Gold Cross Ambulance.
The man driving the Ford was also injured and was treated on scene for abrasions on his arms, but he refused ambulance transport.
It seems everyone was wearing a seat belt, Ferguson said, and the baby was properly restrained in a car seat.
As this report is published, Ferguson said it had not been determined whether a citation would be issued in connection with the crash.
The problem with collisions like this, he said, is people reasonably assume they can drive fast on the freeway. However, he said, you never know what might be coming up.
“You have to drive a little bit further than the hood of your car,” he said.
In addition to Utah Highway Patrol, St. George Fire and the Utah Department of Transportation were also on 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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