I-15 crashes abound as rain pours onto roadways

WASHINGTON COUNTY — As hazardous weather conditions swept through the state Monday afternoon and evening, emergency crews were dispatched to a number of incidents along Interstate 15.

A car lies in a ditch after reportedly being hit by a semitractor-trailer near milepost 15 on Interstate 15 after a storm swept through the state, Washington County, Utah, Oct. 24, 2016 | Photo by Austin Peck, St. George News
A car lies in a ditch after reportedly being hit by a semitractor-trailer near milepost 15 on I-15 after a storm swept through the area, Washington County, Utah, Oct. 24, 2016 | Photo by Austin Peck, St. George News

At approximately 5:32 p.m., Utah Highway Patrol was dispatched to a location on I-15 near mile marker 15 where a semitractor-trailer reportedly hit a passenger vehicle, causing the car to roll into a ditch.

The car rolled onto the right shoulder and into a ditch on the side of the road. The passenger car was damaged; the severity of the driver’s injuries is unknown at the time of this report.

Personnel from the Utah Department of Transportation responded to assist with cleanup but were dispatched to another incident before the car could be fully recovered.

Another crash near northbound mile marker 10 was reported at approximately 6:09 p.m. and involved a single vehicle that spun out of control, hitting the median dividing northbound and southbound lanes of the interstate, Utah Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Marissa Villaseñor said.

A car is damaged after crashing into a median near milepost 10 on I-15 after a storm swept through the state, Washington County, Utah, Oct. 24, 2016 | Photo by Austin Peck, St. George News
A car is damaged after crashing into a median near milepost 10 on I-15 after a storm swept through the area, Washington County, Utah, Oct. 24, 2016 | Photo by Austin Peck, St. George News

The driver complained of shoulder pain and sustained minor injuries, Villaseñor said.

Responding UDOT personnel arrived to clear debris, causing a minor traffic slowdown while they worked.

Yet another incident was reported just before 6 p.m. near mile marker 28. Two trucks collided when one of the vehicles spun out of control after hydroplaning on the drenched roadway, Villaseñor said.

No injuries were reported and the trucks sustained minor body damage.

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

Staying safe

The AAA Exchange recommends the following when driving in wet weather:

Avoid cruise control

When used in wet conditions, cruise control can increase the chance of losing control of the vehicle. To prevent loss of traction, the driver may need to reduce the car’s speed by lifting off the accelerator, which cannot be accomplished when cruise control is engaged.

Wet conditions slow traffic along Interstate 15 after a storm swept through the state, Washington County, Utah, Oct. 24, 2016 | Photo by Austin Peck, St. George News
Wet conditions slow traffic along Interstate 15 after a storm swept through the state, Washington County, Utah, Oct. 24, 2016 | Photo by Austin Peck, St. George News

Slow down and leave room

Slowing down during wet weather can be critical to reducing a car’s chance of hydroplaning. Drivers should reduce their speed to correspond to the amount of water on the roadway. At speeds as low as 35 mph, new tires can still lose some contact with the roadway.

To reduce chances of hydroplaning, drivers should slow down, avoid hard braking or turning sharply and drive in the tracks of the vehicle ahead of you.

Also, it’s important for motorists to allow ample stopping distance between cars by increasing the distance to the vehicle in front of them and starting early when slowing down for intersections, turns and other traffic.

Responding to a skid

If a driver feels their car begin to skid, it’s important to not panic and follow these basic steps:

  • Continue to look and steer in the direction in which the driver wants the car to go.
  • Avoid slamming on the brakes as this will further upset the vehicle’s balance and make it harder to control.

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Email: jwitham@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

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

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3 Comments

  • Be Happy October 25, 2016 at 5:59 am

    Car not damaged like a rollover.

  • Bob October 25, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    85mph on wet roads

    • .... October 27, 2016 at 5:36 am

      85. ? Wow I didn’t think you had the ability 2 put 2gether a double digit number ! Atta boy Bob !

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