Driver smashes into UHP vehicle on I-15 while trooper tended to other crash

Silver Ford Focus drives through closed left lane of Interstate 15 and strikes a UHP patrol vehicle Saturday in Washington, Utah, Nov. 20, 2016 | Photo courtesy of the Utah Highway Patrol, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A Utah Highway Patrol vehicle was hit late Saturday night when it was stopped and the trooper was tending to another crash that involved a driver suspected of DUI. The second incident was also the result of a suspected DUI.

UHP patrol vehicle is struck by a Ford Focus while tending to the scene of another DUI crash Saturday on Interstate 15 in Washington, Utah, Nov. 20, 2016 | Photo courtesy of the Utah Highway Patrol, St. George News
UHP patrol vehicle is struck by a Ford Focus while tending to the scene of another DUI crash Saturday on Interstate 15 in Washington, Utah, Nov. 20, 2016 | Photo courtesy of the Utah Highway Patrol, St. George News

Just after 11 p.m., officers were called to a single-vehicle crash on Interstate 15 northbound near milepost 13 in Washington, Utah Highway Patrol trooper Lawrence Hopper said in a statement released Sunday afternoon.

Upon arrival, officers began putting flares out to warn other motorists and closed the left lane of the interstate to prevent a secondary crash since there was already one passenger car smashed into the guardrail, Hopper said.

Following an investigation, officers placed the driver under arrest for suspicion of DUI, the trooper said.

Meanwhile, a silver Ford Focus came through the left lane that officers had previously closed, and despite numerous police and emergency vehicles, flashing lights and flares, the Ford continued until it slammed into the rear bumper of one of the UHP patrol vehicles that was stopped nearby.

The trooper was outside of his vehicle as the secondary crash occurred.

The driver was not injured but was also arrested for suspected DUI.

Both men were then transported to the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility after medical clearance, and are now facing several charges each.

The Washington County Sheriff’s office, Utah Highway Patrol, Washington City Fire Department and Utah Department of Transportation’s Incident Management Team responded to the scene.

This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement or first responders and may not contain the full scope of findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

Email: cblowers@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

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

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6 Comments

  • .... November 20, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    this is sad. we have Police out there putting their lives on the line for the safety of the public and the police officers are the ones being hit or having their vehicles hit ! hey how about we stop this bleeding heart ” we fill sorry for you because you’re an alcoholic ” and I strike and you’re out !

    no more drivers license and enjoy your state issued ID card and get familiar with public transportation !

    • ladybugavenger November 21, 2016 at 8:32 am

      Amen

    • ladybugavenger November 21, 2016 at 10:28 am

      ? I’ll drink to that. Not everyone is as fortunate as I am to have a chauffeur. Please do not drink and drive. Stay safe!

  • mmsandie November 21, 2016 at 9:16 am

    Maybe both drivers were at the same party…I think an occasional drink is okay girl special times, and holiday parties are starting, but Don,t drive.. If it’s late, stay over or go home with someone else… Roads in southern Utah are busy enough bring a major rte from LA to Canada… People from all I’ve usa travel this road, snowbirds oing and gojng, young drivers with,iittle experience” we should drive sigh both eyes open and nit a phone in hand..please save lives and heartache this holiday, praise the lord God our police who with so hard..

  • Bob November 21, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    I wonder if utah’s 3.2% beer has actually saved any lives over the years. I’d like to know.

    • ladybugavenger November 22, 2016 at 8:40 am

      Does 3.2 beer save lives? No. It only increases alcohol sales profits because people buy twice as much beer.

      People going down to mesquite and getting high point beer and better price on liquor for the party might cause more dui’s on the highway

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