Distraction by children possibly causes 3-car collision on Mall Drive

ST. GEORGE — A driver possibly distracted by her young passengers set off a three-car collision on S. Mall Drive in heavy Thursday morning traffic when she failed to brake in time for a line of cars stopped at a red light. Minor injuries were reported, and driver was cited.

Blue Lincoln Towncar in the background at three-car collision on S. Mall Drive that was set off by a distracted driver Thursday, St. George, Utah, Nov. 10, 2016 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News
Blue Lincoln Town Car in the background at three-car collision on S. Mall Drive that was set off by a distracted driver, St. George, Utah, Nov. 10, 2016 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

Just before 9 a.m., a call came into the St. George Communications Center reporting a three-car crash on S. Mall Drive across from Lin’s Marketplace. When officers and emergency personnel responded, they found three damaged vehicles, two of which were blocking the northbound lane.

After checking all vehicle occupants, two of which reported minor injuries but declined transport, officers began piecing together the events that led up to the three-car pile up, St. George Police officer Andy Mickelson said.

After speaking with the drivers and witnesses at the scene, officers determined that a charcoal Chrysler minivan was heading north on S. Mall Drive during heavy morning traffic, and as the woman driving the minivan passed Lin’s Marketplace, a line of cars started backing up from the intersection at E. Riverside Drive.

As the driver of the minivan approached the line of waiting cars, she was unable to brake in time to avoid a collision and struck a white Lexus four-door passenger car stopped behind numerous other vehicles waiting for the light.

White Lexus was the first car hit in a chain reaction that ended with three damaged vehicles on S. Mall Drive Thursday, St. George, Utah, Nov. 10, 2016 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News
White Lexus was the first car hit in a chain reaction that ended with three damaged vehicles on S. Mall Drive, St. George, Utah, Nov. 10, 2016 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

The man driving the Lexus looked in his rear view mirror to see the minivan approaching without slowing down, Mickelson said, and tried moving to the right in an attempt to avoid the impending collision.

Instead, the minivan struck the Lexus before the driver was able to move to safety. The impact sent the Lexus spinning to the right and completely off of the roadway. The minivan then hit a blue Lincoln Town Car that was stopped just ahead of the Lexus. The impact pushed the Lincoln forward but not enough to strike the next vehicle stopped in the line.

For Linda Spencer, the woman driving the Lincoln, this was the first car crash she had ever been involved in, and she said she was pretty shaken but uninjured. Spencer’s husband of 41 years came to the scene to assist her, she said, and to make sure she was okay.

“It sure changed my plans today,” Spencer said.

The woman driving the minivan had two small children in the vehicle at the time of the crash who were both properly secured with only minor injuries reported.

She was cited for careless driving, Mickelson said, because she was possibly distracted with the children and did not see that traffic was backing up.  Once she became aware of the situation, it was too late, and she was unable to stop in time to avoid the crash.

“Distractions create hazards,” Mickelson said.

The Minivan and Lexus sustained extensive damage and were towed from the scene, while the Lincoln was driven away by its owner.

The St. George Police Department, the St. George Fire Department, Gold Cross Ambulance and Utah Department of Transportation’s Incident Management Team responded and assisted with the large scene.

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

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Email: cblowers@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

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

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Posted in Local, News

5 Comments

  • Bob November 10, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    lexus looks totaled. gonna cost a pretty penny. i think they should add ‘improper lane travel’

  • ladybugavenger November 10, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    That’ll teach those kids to stop being unruly and shut up while in car

    • .... November 10, 2016 at 7:57 pm

      Should of given them kids some Coke and Cheetos

      • .... November 11, 2016 at 9:31 am

        Well this should bring in RealLowlife with another one of his ( he hate me ) comments LOL ! Ha ha ha ha ha … now that’s some funny stuff right there ! take your time getting here I don’t have to work for a living ! LOL !

  • mmsandie November 10, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    And they tell those young blondes to keep having kids..I,m glad I don,t live on that side of town, it’s gettng wild and dangerous,, anyone who can afford a Lexus. Has good insurance, it will be replaced fast.. Just glad everyone was bukled up and safe

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