5 injured, 3 transported after 2 vehicles roll on the interstate

MOHAVE COUNTY, Ariz. — A rollover on Interstate 15 Sunday left five people injured, sent two cars down a ravine and kept emergency personnel busy for hours and traffic blocked in both lanes and backed up several miles.

Silver Toyota SUV rolled more than 200 feet off of the roadway after a two-car rollover on Interstate 15 Sunday, Mohave County, Ariz., Nov. 13, 2016 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News
A silver Toyota SUV rolls more than 200 feet off of the roadway after a two-car rollover on Interstate 15, Mohave County, Ariz., Nov. 13, 2016 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

Just after 3 p.m., officers and emergency personnel were dispatched to a rollover involving two vehicles on Interstate 15 southbound near the Port of Entry in Mohave County, Arizona Department of Public Safety Trooper Tom Callister said.

Once officers arrived they found two severely damaged vehicles – a blue Nissan four-door passenger car and a silver Toyota SUV – down a ravine off the right side of the interstate.

The Nissan was approximately 20 feet from the roadway and partially down an embankment, while the Toyota was more than 200 feet down the ravine. Both vehicles had come to a rest in upright positions following the rollovers.

As EMT’s approached the Nissan, they found a man who was injured and suffering from an unrelated medical issue. Once stabilized, the driver was transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center to be treated.

“It appears to be a medical emergency that caused the collision,” Callister said but was unable to give exact details.

The four occupants in the Toyota were outside of their vehicle when officers arrived. One woman who sustained a large laceration to her head was transported to the hospital along with another passenger who sustained injuries as well.

Numerous emergency responders line the Interstate after two-car rollover on Interstate 15 Sunday, Mohave County, Ariz., Nov. 13, 2016 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News
Numerous emergency responders line the Interstate after two-car rollover on Interstate 15, Mohave County, Ariz., Nov. 13, 2016 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

“We had five people injured, and three were transported to the hospital, while the other two declined transport,” Callister said.

After speaking with witnesses at the scene, officers determined that the man driving the Nissan suffered some type of medical condition as he traveled south on Interstate 15, the trooper said, and at that point the Nissan struck the Toyota that was ahead of him in the right lane.

The impact sent the Toyota on a sideways slide, which ultimately led to the roll that sent it off the interstate and down the ravine. The Nissan also rolled off the interstate.

Callister said witnesses estimated that the Toyota rolled at least eight times, but he thought it could be more considering the distance and where the Toyota came to rest.

According to the driver, Marcus Saunders, he observed the Nissan coming up behind him at a high rate of speed, and as the car moved into his blind spot, Saunders said he felt the Nissan hit his vehicle.

“As soon as I felt his car hit my car,” Saunders said, “I felt it slide sideways and everything happened so quickly.”

Byron Helton, who was sitting in the front passenger seat of the Toyota, said every time the SUV rolled over, the top smashed down lower, and his main fear was getting crushed in the process.

“I just can’t believe we are all alive,” he said.

Both lanes of traffic were initially blocked. Once on scene, officers began redirecting traffic to the right lane, but by then it was backed up for several miles.

Callister said there was one saving grace in the crash, which was the fact that everyone was wearing their seat belts at the time.

“I’ve been on collisions that have been far less severe than this one, that have resulted in fatal or serious injury collisions,” Callister said. “With this one, the seat belts saved everybody.”

St. George Police, Utah Department of Public Safety, Gold Cross Ambulance, Beaver Dam/Littlefield Fire and Ambulance, and officers from the Port of Entry responded and tended to the scene.

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

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.

Email: cblowers@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

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

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8 Comments

  • .... November 14, 2016 at 5:25 am

    Well now that the elections are over we can spend more time reading about traffic accidents and seeing how many nice things RealLowlife says to me ! LOL !

    • Real Life November 14, 2016 at 7:56 am

      5:25 am? Good job Dumpster! Did you set your alarm to post this? We all know it wasn’t to get up for work. Get off the dope son, it’s done made you stupid.

      • .... November 14, 2016 at 12:27 pm

        1 agree with your comment 100% get off the dope it’s done made you stupid ! you said it stupid ! ..have a nice day. ..ha ha ha ha

  • theone November 14, 2016 at 7:47 am

    I decided to make a run for a powerball ticket and got caught in the traffic from this accident. I have to give kudos to the officials who kept the traffic moving, it only took 30 minutes to get through. Glad every one was wearing their seat belts. Come on powerball!!

    • .... November 14, 2016 at 9:21 am

      When I hit the powerball I donated to the #fundraiser helpsupportmentalhygiene4reallowlife

    • ladybugavenger November 14, 2016 at 2:30 pm

      Good luck to your Powerball ticket. Thanks for reminding me to buy one.

  • Bob November 14, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    another wreck caused by too slow of speeds. remember: faster is always safer

  • Bob November 14, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    oh yea and “medical episodes”. why are these people on the road? let’s make a “medical episode” criminal negligence. if you’ve got a heart that’s just a hair away from failing or similar condition u got no place gambling w other people’s lives. There’s a whole set of driving rules for epileptics that should be applied to all sorts of “medical episodes”. As per usual the laws won’t be changed until the death toll gets a lot higher

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