Truck goes off cliff when driver falls asleep

SANTA CLARA — An early morning crash in Santa Clara brought numerous responders to a truck that first went off the road and then off a cliff after the driver fell asleep at the wheel.

Blue Ford pickup came to rest down deep ravine after driver fell asleep and left the roadway early Friday Morning, W. Pioneer Road, Santa Clara, Utah, November 25, 2016 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News
Blue Ford pickup came to rest down deep ravine after driver fell asleep and left the roadway early Friday morning, West Pioneer Road, Santa Clara, Utah, Nov. 25, 2016 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

At approximately 3:30 a.m. officers and emergency personnel were dispatched to a single vehicle crash on West Pioneer Road near Lava Cove Drive in Santa Clara.

Upon arrival, officers found a blue Ford pickup truck approximately 25-30 feet down a ravine to the right of the roadway, Santa Clara Fire Chief Dan Nelson said.

The driver, a man in his 20s, sustained minor injuries in the crash, Nelson said, however he told officers he would go to the emergency room at Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George on his own.

After speaking with the driver, Nelson said, emergency responders determined that the man was traveling west on West Pioneer Road and fell asleep at the wheel. He then veered off the right shoulder of the roadway before falling at least 25-30 feet straight down into the lava rocks below.

Blue Ford pickup after it is winched up the 25-foot ravine on W. Pioneer Road Friday morning, Santa Clara, Utah, November 25, 2016 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News
Blue Ford pickup after it is winched up the 25-foot ravine on West Pioneer Road Friday morning, Santa Clara, Utah, Nov. 25, 2016 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

Once the truck left the roadway it was similar to a free fall down to the bottom, which was covered in large rocks and boulders, one witness said at the scene.

The force of the impact caused extensive damage to the front end of the Ford and caused the injuries to the driver.

The man was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, and the airbags did deploy upon impact, the fire chief said, which may have prevented serious injuries during the crash.

The truck was pulled from the ravine by two tow trucks using a winch. Once it was returned to the roadway it was towed from the scene.

No citations had been issued when Nelson was interviewed for this report as the incident remained under investigation.

Santa Clara-Ivins Police and Fire and Rescue departments responded and tended to the scene.

This report is based on preliminary information in part provided by 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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1 Comment

  • .... November 25, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    I am so glad this young man was not seriously injured or lost his life. his seat belt and air bag did their job. this young man was able to go home to his friends and loved ones. Praise the Lord !

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