Teen driver suspected to be drowsy rolls car on I-15

A Ford Focus rests upside down after its driver rolled the vehicle on Interstate 15 near Beaver, Utah, July 3, 2017 | Photo courtesy of the Utah Department of Public Safety, Cedar City News / St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A 17-year-old driver rolled his car into an opposing lane of traffic on Interstate 15 near Beaver Monday afternoon, causing another car to crash nearby.

A Ford Focus rests upside down after its driver rolled the vehicle on Interstate 15 near Beaver, Utah, July 3, 2017 | Photo courtesy of the Utah Department of Public Safety, Cedar City News / St. George News

Utah Highway Patrol responded to the incident at approximately 3:09 p.m. on northbound I-15 near mile marker 130.

The teen was driving southbound in a red 2005 Ford Focus when the rollover occurred.

“The driver lost control after becoming drowsy, left the roadway, came to the median and began to roll and went into the northbound traffic lanes,” Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Preston Holgreen said.

The car landed upside down in the northbound inside lane of travel.

The driver of a Mazda CX9, who was traveling north on I-15, swerved to miss the upended Ford and left the roadway, striking a nearby deer fence.

“The teenager in the Ford had minor lacerations; he was seat belted in,” Holgreen said. “He was transported by ambulance to the hospital.”

No other injuries were reported.

A Mazda CX9 sustains minor front end damage after crashing into a deer fence on Interstate 15 near Beaver, Utah, July 3, 2017 | Photo courtesy of the Utah Department of Public Safety, Cedar City News / St. George News

The lane in which the ford landed was temporarily blocked as emergency responders cleaned up the scene, but traffic was able to pass in the outside lane.

“With the heavy holiday traffic, it did back up traffic for about a mile,” Holgreen said.

The Ford was totaled and towed from the scene. The Mazda sustained minor damage and was able to be driven away.

Citation was pending at the time this report was taken.

Beaver Fire District and an officer from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources also responded to the incident.

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

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Email: jwitham@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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2 Comments

  • Caveat_Emptor July 4, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    I trust the UHP will be checking the kid’s smartphone to confirm that he was not distracted driving, in addition to drowsy……..
    I think we can all agree that this accident could have been a lot worse if there had been more traffic…..

  • mesaman July 4, 2017 at 11:13 pm

    Minor damage on the CX9? Estimated damage would likely be in excess of $3000. That is not minor in my book.

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