Car ricochets in rain, embeds under semitrailer on Interstate 15

The woman driving a Toyota Prius lost control on Interstate 15 Saturday, hitting the center divider and then careening back into traffic, where the car became embedded under a May Trucking Company semitrailer. Washington County, Utah, April 9, 2016 | Photo by Ric Wayman, St. George News

WASHINGTON COUNTY — A  Toyota Prius became embedded under a semitrailer near milepost 36 of southbound Interstate 15 around noon Saturday.

Emergency responders tended to an accident scene on southbound Interstate 15 Saturday. A woman driving a Toyota Prius lost control, hitting the center divider and then careening back into traffic, where the car embedded itself under a semitrailer. Washington County, Utah, April 9, 2016 | Photo by Ric Wayman, St. George News
Emergency responders tended to an accident scene on southbound Interstate 15 Saturday where a Toyota Prius became embedded under a semitrailer. Washington County, Utah, April 9, 2016 | Photo by Ric Wayman, St. George News

“The Prius was traveling southbound on I-15,” Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Larry Mower said. “She was going about 80 miles an hour. At the time, the rain was much heavier … the roads were very slick, she was passing a semi.”

The 21-year-old Californian was in the left lane coming up on Exit 36, the Ranch exit for Black Ridge, Ash Creek Reservoir and South Old Highway 91.

She lost control of her vehicle and left the roadway to the left, where the front of the Prius struck the center divider, sending the Prius back into the travel lanes and under a May Trucking Company semitrailer. The rear wheels of the trailer ran over the front of the Prius.

Extrication was not required, Mower said, as the woman crawled out of the car on her own.

“She’s not injured, luckily,” the trooper said. “She’s got a few abrasions on her arm, probably from glass and that’s about it. Medical checked her out, she’s OK.”

Backup extended about 1/2 mile from an accident that occurred on southbound Interstate 15 at milepost 36 Saturday morning. The incident closed the right lane for almost an hour. Washington County, Utah, April 9, 2016 | Photo by Ric Wayman, St. George News
Backup extended about 1/2 mile from milepost 36 on southbound Interstate 15 when a Toyota Prius became embedded under a semitrailer. The right lane was closed for almost an hour. Washington County, Utah, April 9, 2016 | Photo by Ric Wayman, St. George News

Mower said a citation would probably be issued to the woman for failing to maintain a lane or driving too fast for the conditions – it was raining.

The southbound right lane of the Interstate was closed for about an hour as crews worked to clean up the accident. Traffic backed up about 1/2 mile.

Units from the Utah Highway Patrol, Cedar City Fire Department, New Harmony Fire Department, Leeds Fire and Rescue and Utah Department of Transportation’s Incident Management Team responded to the incident.

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: rwayman@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews | @NewsWayman

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

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