Authorities release details of fatal collision

MESQUITE, Nev. – Authorities have released details surrounding a fatal collision Sunday near the southbound Interstate 15 Arizona-Nevada state line that left one man dead, one woman in critical condition, a semitrailer engulfed in flames and I-15 traffic backed up for hours.

A collision near southbound Interstate 15 Arizona-Nevada state line left one man dead, a woman in critical condition and a semi engulfed in flames, Mesquite, Nevada, Aug. 9, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Nevada Highway Patrol, St. George News
A collision near southbound Interstate 15 Arizona-Nevada state line left one man dead, a woman in critical condition and a semi engulfed in flames, Mesquite, Nevada, Aug. 9, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Nevada Highway Patrol, St. George News

According to a Nevada Highway Patrol preliminary investigation, a silver 2005 Jaguar, driven by a 75-year-old woman, from Ambridge, Pennsylvania, was traveling north on I-15 in the right travel lane at approximately 2:10 p.m. MST.

At that same time, a 2010 International semitrailer, driven by a 56-year-old man, from Council Bluffs, Iowa, was traveling south on I-15 in the right travel lane.

The driver of the Jaguar steered abruptly to the left, causing the car to rotate counter-clockwise before traveling across the center dirt median and onto southbound I-15, NHP Trooper Loy Hixson said in a press statement Monday afternoon.

When the driver of the semi saw the Jaguar coming in his direction, he steered to the right, Hixson said, but the right side of the Jaguar struck the left front of the semi.


READ MORE, SEE PHOTOS: 1 dead in semi vs car collision on 1-15; STGnews Photo Gallery


The collision redirected the Jaguar in a southerly direction before it came to rest on southbound I-15, both partially in the travel lane and dirt median, Hixson said. The semi came to rest on the right paved shoulder of southbound I-15 where it soon became completely engulfed in flames.

A 78-year-old male passenger of the Jaguar, also from Ambridge, Pennsylvania, suffered fatal injuries during the crash and was pronounced dead at the scene.

A collision near southbound Interstate 15 Arizona-Nevada state line left one man dead, a woman in critical condition and a semi engulfed in flames, Mesquite, Nevada, Aug. 9, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Nevada Highway Patrol, St. George News
A collision near southbound Interstate 15 Arizona-Nevada state line left one man dead, a woman in critical condition and a semi engulfed in flames, Mesquite, Nevada, Aug. 9, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Nevada Highway Patrol, St. George News

The driver of the Jaguar was transported to Mesa View Hospital in Mesquite in critical condition, while the driver of the semitrailer was reportedly uninjured.

As a result of the collision, Highway Patrol troopers were restricting traffic along I-15, utilizing the emergency lanes for travel in both north- and southbound directions near Nevada milepost 122. Arizona Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol Sgt. John Bottoms described the traffic along I-15 between St. George and Mesquite at the time as “absolute chaos.”

By 4:45 p.m. MST, southbound I-15 traffic through the Virgin River Gorge construction zone was backed up for 7.5 miles, Bottoms said, with traffic being backed up an additional 8 miles between Mesquite, Nevada, and Littlefield, Arizona, in the area of the fatal crash.

The estimated drive time from Mesquite to St. George, Bottoms said, was more than 2 hours.

Just before 7:30 p.m. MST, Bottoms reported motorists were becoming increasingly upset over the traffic delay and some were even running out of fuel as the highway remained restricted in Nevada and backed up 10 miles in Arizona.

NHP opened both southbound lanes and the traffic backups began to clear around 8:30 p.m.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

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5 Comments

  • fun bag August 10, 2015 at 7:21 pm

    Burning truck along side the road. Reminds me of my “fun vacation” to Iraq, lol…

  • SteveSGU August 10, 2015 at 8:53 pm

    It sounds like NHP made the delay into something unnecessarily horrible. When they were convinced to open up more lanes of traffic, the problem dissipated.

  • Dexter August 10, 2015 at 10:36 pm

    Oh heck It reminded me of Ferguson Missouri

  • Dexter August 12, 2015 at 9:36 am

    I wonder where REAL LIFE DORK and his stupid commentary is.? I’m sure he’ll crawl out from the rock he lives and come in and say something stupid and ignorant like he always does

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