Man killed in Virgin River Gorge crash identified; accident details released

Motorcycle involved in a crash on I-15 that claimed the life of 63-year-old Terry Schwartz, of Minnesota, Virgin River Gorge, Arizona, Sept. 25, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Arizona Department of Public Safety, St. George News

VIRGIN RIVER GORGE – A Minnesota man is dead following a motorcycle accident on Interstate 15 in the Virgin River Gorge Friday afternoon.

Around 1:05 p.m. MDT, troopers with the Arizona Department of Public Safety were alerted to a motorcycle crash on northbound I-15 around milepost 17, south of Cedar Pocket, ADPS Sgt. John Bottoms said.

When troopers arrived, they found Terry Dean Schwartz, 63, of Clear Lake, Minnesota, who was pronounced dead at the scene from traumatic injuries. Bottoms said he believes the man suffered a broken neck, broken back and internal injures from the crash.

Motorcycle involved in a crash on I-15 that claimed the life of 63-year-old Terry Schwartz, of Minnesota, Virgin River Gorge, Arizona, Sept. 25, 2015 | Photo courtesy of the Arizona Department of Public Safety, St. George News
Motorcycle involved in a crash on I-15 that claimed the life of 63-year-old Terry Schwartz, of Minnesota, Virgin River Gorge, Arizona, Sept. 25, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Arizona Department of Public Safety, St. George News

The cause of the accident is still under investigation and somewhat unclear, Bottoms said. Schwartz was coming out of a curve about a half-mile past the bridge construction at milepost 16 and ended up running into the guardrail.

What caused Schwartz to crash into the guardrail is unknown, Bottoms said. Investigators don’t know if he may have been distracted or what other factors may have been involved. There was no sign of alcohol impairment, Bottoms said.

Schwartz did have a motorcycle endorsement on his license and was dressed in proper attire for riding a motorcycle, Bottoms said. He was wearing a helmet and goggles when the accident occurred.

The motorcycle Schwartz was riding was a rental out of Las Vegas. It’s not uncommon for people visiting Las Vegas to rent a motorcycle for a day and travel to Zion National Park or elsewhere, Bottoms said.

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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