Highway Patrol: ‘It’s not something you see every day’

A tire blowout sent a St. George man on a wild ride that ended when the man’s car came to rest on top of a guardrail along Interstate 15 near milepost 10, Desert Springs, Arizona, March 2, 2016 | Photo courtesy of Arizona Department of Public Safety, St. George News

LITTLEFIELD, Ariz. — “It’s not something you see every day,” a highway patrol sergeant said Wednesday after a series of unfortunate events ended with a St. George man and his car on top of a guardrail along Interstate 15 near Desert Springs Exit 9.

A tire blowout sent a St. George man on a wild ride that ended when the man’s car came to rest on top of a guardrail along Interstate 15 near milepost 10, Desert Springs, Arizona, March 2, 2016 | Photo courtesy of Arizona Department of Public Safety, St. George News
A tire blowout sent a St. George man on a wild ride that ended when the man’s car came to rest on top of a guardrail along Interstate 15 near milepost 10, Desert Springs, Arizona, March 2, 2016 | Photo courtesy of Arizona Department of Public Safety, St. George News

Around noon, 62-year-old Vern Olsen, of St. George, was in the left southbound lane on I-15 traveling at approximately 70-75 mph when his right rear tire blew out, Arizona Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol Sgt. John Bottoms said.

The tire blowout caused Olsen to lose control of the white 1990 Volvo he was driving.

“He began skidding, spun around, entered the median going backwards,” Bottoms said, “crashed through a chain link fence in the median, crossed both northbound lanes (and) hit the guardrail going backwards, which lifted his car onto the guardrail.”

Bottoms said that Olsen was shaken up but not injured.

Bottoms added that Olsen is “extremely lucky” no vehicles were coming north on the freeway at the time he crossed the northbound lanes.

“No other vehicles were involved,” Bottoms said, “and that in itself is a miracle.”

Olsen was issued a citation for failure to control the speed of his vehicle to avoid an accident, driving with a suspended Utah driver’s license and no proof of insurance.

This report is based on preliminary information provided by emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

Email: kscott@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

 

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