Van overshoots I-15 exit, crashes; woman in wheelchair taken to hospital

WASHINGTON CITY – A wheelchair-bound woman was taken to the hospital and a van was severely damaged after a single-vehicle accident at an Interstate 15 off-ramp in Washington City Thursday evening.

Van crashes at Interstate 15 Exit 16, Washington, Utah, Oct. 1, 2015 | Photo by Cami Cox Jim, St. George News
Van crashes at Interstate 15 Exit 16, Washington, Utah, Oct. 1, 2015 | Photo by Cami Cox Jim, St. George News

At about 5:43 p.m., emergency responders were dispatched to the Exit 16 southbound off-ramp of I-15 in Washington City, near the Hurricane border, where a van exiting the interstate had overshot the off-ramp, left the roadway and crashed.

“The driver stated he just took it way too fast, came off the road and hit into an embankment,” Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Taj Eldredge said.

Landing a good distance from the roadway, the van sustained significant front-end damage, and a side window was shattered.

“The front left wheel is pretty much off the vehicle, so it’s totally disabled,” Eldredge said.

Eldredge said some passersby who saw the accident stopped to help the people in the van.

“We had some good Samaritans,” he said.

Van crashes at Interstate 15 Exit 16, Washington, Utah, Oct. 1, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Cathy Williams, St. George News
Van crashes at Interstate 15 Exit 16, Washington, Utah, Oct. 1, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Cathy Williams, St. George News

Cathy Williams was among the group that stopped to render aid, along with Nick Whitney and Dairus Jensen, she said. They stayed with the occupants of the van until an ambulance arrived.

A woman who had been secured in a wheelchair in the back of the van was thrown during the accident, Williams said, and her head broke the back passenger window. Whitney assessed that the woman was conscious and coherent, however, Williams said.

The man driving the van had a cut on one arm as a result of the crash and was treated at the scene.

The woman in the wheelchair sustained some injuries to her head and face as well as some cuts and was transported by ambulance to Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George, Eldredge said, adding that her injuries did not appear to be life-threatening. Her husband, who had been in the front passenger seat of the van, rode with her to the hospital.

Van crashes at Interstate 15 Exit 16, Washington, Utah, Oct. 1, 2015 | Photo by Cami Cox Jim, St. George News
Van crashes at Interstate 15 Exit 16, Washington, Utah, Oct. 1, 2015 | Photo by Cami Cox Jim, St. George News

Because the van landed off the road, traffic was not greatly impacted as a result of the crash. Southbound vehicles exiting I-15 had to slow down to safely pass the emergency vehicles and responders at the scene, but beyond that, there were no significant traffic impacts.

The van had Colorado license plates, and the people inside were presumably from out of town, a Washington City firefighter at the scene said.

Eldredge said no citations will be issued in connection with the crash.

The van was towed from the scene by St. George Towing.

In addition to UHP, the Hurricane Valley Fire District, Utah Department of Transportation and Washington City Fire responded to the 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.

St. George News reporter Ric Wayman contributed to this report.

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Email: cjim@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

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

 

 

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8 Comments

  • indy-vfr October 2, 2015 at 5:53 am

    The driver should relocate to St George as he would fit right in! Hammer-Down!

    • SteveSGU October 2, 2015 at 6:23 pm

      St. George News should remove non-serious, stupid comments. But they don’t. Readers, beware.

      • indy-vfr October 3, 2015 at 4:51 pm

        No, the problem around here is non-serious, stupid drivers. Speed Limits are totally ignored. Drive at the posted speed on any street and you’ll be tailgated and practically run off the road.

        • mesaman October 8, 2015 at 6:54 pm

          St George News should remove non-serious, stupid comments. Readers ignore.

          • Joyce Kuzmanic Joyce Kuzmanic October 9, 2015 at 7:34 am

            You might be surprised how many of those we do disapprove, m.

          • Chris October 9, 2015 at 11:07 am

            If that occurred, none of your posts could ever appear, Nolan.

      • .... October 8, 2015 at 6:09 pm

        St George news should remove your stupid comment. readers beware

  • SteveSGU October 2, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    People who are not familiar with Exit 16 could easily take the exit too fast and have crashes. There should be a warning sign about slowing down for this particular exit. Many tourists unfamiliar with the area go to Zion National Park this way every day.

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