National Guardsmen involved in 3-vehicle accident; shelving in road triggers collision

Two boys are taken to the hospital following a three-vehicle accident that tied up state Route 59 near Apple Valley, Utah, Sept. 17, 2015 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

APPLE VALLEY – An effort to avoid debris in the roadway turned into a three-vehicle accident involving a large Utah National Guard truck Thursday night.

A three-vehicle accident sent tow boys to the hospital with minor injuries and tried up SR-59 near Apple Valley, Utah, Sept. 17, 2015 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News
Two boys are taken to the hospital following  a three-vehicle accident that tied up state Route 59 near Apple Valley, Utah, Sept. 17, 2015 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

Just after 8 p.m., Washington County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to milepost 15 on state Route 59 near Apple Valley to remove some debris from the roadway. Motorists had contacted the St. George Communications Center to report that a bookshelf was in the middle of the road.

Before the deputies arrived at the scene, a chain reaction of rear-end collisions had already occurred, Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Mike Murphy said.

The driver of a white Pontiac passenger car began slowing down when she came upon the bookshelf. Behind her was a large, four-door Ford pickup that also began to slow down. Behind the Ford was a large military transport vehicle that wasn’t able to stop in time.

“There’s just no way he could stop in time and hit the back of the white pickup truck and pushed it into back of the white car,” Murphy said.

Plastic shelving that was originally left in the roadway of SR-59 near Apple Valley and ultimately caused a three-vehicle accident that sent tow boys to the hospital with minor injuries, Apple Valley, Utah, Sept. 17, 2015 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News
Plastic shelving left in the roadway of state Route 59 near Apple Valley ultimately caused a three-vehicle accident, Apple Valley, Utah, Sept. 17, 2015 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

The rear areas of the Pontiac and Ford were demolished. The military transport also sustained some damage but appeared unscathed compared to the other vehicles.

Two boys in the white pickup were taken to Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George by Hurricane Valley Fire and Rescue with minor injuries that did not appear life-threatening, Murphy said. Two other occupants of the pickup, a man and a teenage boy, were uninjured.

The Guardsmen involved in the accident, as well as a woman and her dog who were in the Pontiac, were also unharmed.

Both the Pontiac and the Ford had to be towed from the scene. The segment of roadway where the accident occurred was temporarily blocked off, with only a handful of cars being allowed through at a time.

The bookshelf at the root of the mess was also pulled out of the roadway.

A three-vehicle accident sent tow boys to the hospital with minor injuries and tried up SR-59 near Apple Valley, Utah, Sept. 17, 2015 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News
Two boys are taken to the hospital after a three-vehicle accident that tied up state Route 59 near Apple Valley, Utah, Sept. 17, 2015 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

Members of the Utah National Guard were sent to the Hildale area Wednesday to aid with recovery and cleanup efforts in the wake of devastating flash flooding that left 12 town residents dead and a 6-year-old boy still missing.

No citations were issued at the time of the accident, Murphy said, though citations may yet be issued depending on the outcome of an investigation into the accident.

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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Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

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

 

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6 Comments

  • ladybugavenger September 18, 2015 at 1:11 am

    In light of the recent tragedies, Let’s chalk it up to an unfortunate accident that was caused by an unforseen bookshelf in the road. Case closed.

  • ladybugavenger September 18, 2015 at 1:15 am

    On any other day, there would be a following too close ticket. Isn’t that how it works if you get rear ended? I know the investigation isn’t over. But someone’s gotta pay for the damage, maybe the person who called in the bookcase in the road, maybe it’s their fault for not moving the bookcase 🙂

  • Dexter September 18, 2015 at 5:51 am

    The driver was eating a bag of Cheetos when he crashed

  • debbie September 18, 2015 at 8:02 am

    out of concern for other people, rather than call the county to fix the problem, pulling over for two seconds and grabbing the shelf and dragging it out of the roadway would have been nice.. i’m sure there are always exceptional reasons.. i.e. driver wheelchair bound etc but my father taught us to care about whom we didn’t know and couldnt thank us.. by doing things like that. apple valley hwy 59 is dangerous b/c of speeders, but it is not usually a congested road, stopping to get that slid out of the road should not have post a threat to anyone; and apple valley has such wide usefull shoulders JUST for this reason.

    • fun bag September 19, 2015 at 11:08 am

      i suggest u write the governor. i’m sure he’ll let the other mormons know…

      • debbie October 6, 2015 at 3:52 am

        i’m not mormon. never have been. but my dad taught us to go the extra mile serving others if we can. we actually didn’t need religion to learn that.. albeit my bible teaches that.

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