Sun glare factors into morning collision, Harley rider seriously injured

A motorcyclist was taken to the hospital Saturday morning after a driver apparently blinded by the sun hit him while making a left turn, 200 North and Airport Road, Cedar City, Utah, Oct. 24, 2015 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News

CEDAR CITY – A rider out on his Harley Davidson in Cedar City Saturday morning was struck by a Western Rock Products truck when sun glare blinded the truck driver’s view while making a left turn.

A witness called the accident in to Cedar City Public Safety at 8:16 a.m., Cedar City Police Cpl. Clint Pollock said. Along with Cedar City Police, Utah Highway Patrol and Gold Cross Ambulance responded to the scene to assist.

The Harley rider was heading west on 200 North, Pollock said, and was about to pass through the intersection at Airport Road when the eastbound Western Rock worker driving a Ford F-150 truck on 200 North attempted a left turn.

The bright glare of the early morning sun rising up over the mountain was too much, Pollock said, and the driver of the truck didn’t even see the motorcycle until they collided.

The Harley rider was transported to Valley View Medical Center in Cedar City in serious condition, Pollock said. The extent of the rider’s injuries was unknown to Pollock at that time but later, in a conversation at about 12:30 p.m., he said the Harley rider had been flown to Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George for treatment.

A motorcyclist was sent to the hospital Saturday morning after a driver blinded by the sun hit him while making a left turn, 200 North and Airport Rd., Cedar City, Utah, Oct. 24, 2015 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News
A motorcyclist was taken to the hospital Saturday morning after a driver apparently  blinded by the sun hit him while making a left turn, 200 North and Airport Road, Cedar City, Utah, Oct. 24, 2015 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News

The Harley rider was wearing a helmet, a key to safety when riding, Pollock said.

  • The front end of the Harley was damaged and the pasenger side of the Western Rock truck was dented.

Having to call and explain the accident to his boss was a stressful endeavor, the Western Rock driver said, but his biggest concern was for the welfare of the man on the Harley.

“I’m way more sorry for him than I am for me,” the driver said walking around the Harley and examining the damage. With a heavy sigh the man walked back over to a colleague and started going over more information with the officer.

A motorcyclist was sent to the hospital Saturday morning after a driver blinded by the sun hit him while making a left turn, 200 North and Airport Rd., Cedar City, Utah, Oct. 24, 2015 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News
A motorcyclist was taken to the hospital Saturday morning after a driver apparently blinded by the sun hit him while making a left turn, 200 North and Airport Road, Cedar City, Utah, Oct. 24, 2015 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News

Drivers who are traveling into the sunlight must ensure they have a full view of their surroundings at all times, Pollock said.

Accidents caused by the sun’s glare around sunrise and sunset are frequent occurrences, he said, and drivers should be extra cautious to avoid situations like the one that happened Friday morning.

“The main thing is to just take that little extra time of just paying attention,” Pollock said. “It’s tougher to see motorcycles, but (drivers) have to be extra cognizant that there are more motorcycles out especially where the cooler weather’s going to start coming in.”

The accident was still under investigation at the time, Pollock said, and he was unaware if a citation would be issued.

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: cmiller@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

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

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