2 vehicles crash in heavy construction area near Exit 4 on I-15

ST. GEORGE — A driver who police say glanced away from the road in a construction zone on Interstate 15 hit another car Thursday afternoon, causing both drivers to leave the roadway down an embankment.

A Honda CRV rests in the dirt after a crash on Interstate 15, Washington County, Utah, Aug. 3, 2017 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

Utah Highway Patrol responded to the incident on southbound I-15 just north of Exit 4 at approximately 4 p.m.

A driver in their mid-20s in a Mazda 3 was driving fast and glanced off the road to look at construction work in the area, UHP Trooper Austin Ipson said.

“When they got back looking at the road again, they realized that traffic was checking up, and they made an evasive maneuver,” Ipson said. “During the evasive maneuver, they left their lane and impacted with another vehicle.”

When the driver of the Mazda hit the other vehicle, a Honda CRV with two occupants age 45 and 70, the impact caused both vehicles to leave the roadway off the outside shoulder and down an embankment, Ipson said, where they came to rest on graded dirt in an area of active construction.

Emergency personnel respond to the scene of a crash on Interstate 15, Washington County, Utah, Aug. 3, 2017 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

Watch video in the media player top this report.

The occupants of both vehicles were all wearing seat belts. They were checked out by responding medical personnel, but no one required transport to the hospital.

“No one was hurt, fortunately,” Ipson said, “but it just goes to show that you need to be keeping an eye on your surroundings.”

The driver of the Mazda received a citation for their role in the crash, Ipson said.

Both vehicles sustained heavy damage and had to be towed from the scene.

One tow truck driver, Will Ban of Freedom Towing, said incidents like these on this particular stretch of roadway are all too common in his experience.

A Mazda 3 is towed away after a crash on Interstate 15, Washington County, Utah, Aug. 3, 2017 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

“I get on this road several times daily going north and back south where the gap is between Brigham Road and Dixie Drive,” Ban said, “and I can’t count the accidents that I’ve almost got in myself and that I’ve seen other people in.”

Ban said he has towed numerous vehicles involved in traffic incidents in the area, and the situation has been exacerbated by recent construction, adding that he has observed little in the way of traffic control in the zone besides orange barrels lining the shoulder.

“It’s dangerous,” Ban said, noting that merging onto the Interstate from the Exit 4 on-ramps is complicated by drivers not moving out of the outside lane.

He said the area could possibly benefit from officers running active traffic control in the construction area.

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

Email: jwitham@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

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

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  • beacon August 4, 2017 at 7:53 am

    Are people so dumb that they can’t slow down and pay attention? I know, “they’re only human!”

  • Caveat_Emptor August 4, 2017 at 8:28 am

    Normally you would expect that a 60 mph construction zone speed limit is adequate, considering the congestion, and these tricky lane changes.
    I can only hope that the UHP guys/ladies are considering trimming the speed limit, or some other adjustments, to control the flow better.
    Changes might not have saved this accident, which is another example of distracted driving……..We have another 3+ months of construction work to get the project completed and the major flow improvements operational.

  • desertgirl August 4, 2017 at 10:30 am

    I travel this stretch at least three times a week. The Dixie ramp entrance going south is a fatality waiting to happen. There is absolutely no lane to meld into traffic as autos and trucks barrel down the I-15. I made an attempt to take Tonaquint and they have the road closed going into Bloomington toward the golf club. So there goes another alternative leaving only River Rd to Brigham. Poor planning and dangerous.

  • indy-vfr August 4, 2017 at 11:18 am

    “…..active traffic control” Too funny! Little, if any in STG. Seems to be part of the S Utah culture. Speed Limits are universally ignored!! Hammer Down!!!

  • Loyal Opposition August 4, 2017 at 11:50 am

    Just before the construction, there is a large electrical sign telling through traffic to move to the left lane. NO ONE MOVES LEFT. To make the merge safe, the speed limit needs to be dropped to 45 and barrels have to be placed to FORCE all through traffic into that left lane. UDOT is almost as much to blame for these accidents are the inattentive drivers.

  • Dolly August 4, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    Loyal, great suggestions. I got on one time at Dixie southbound during this construction – it scared the crap out of me. I go way out of my way to avoid that on ramp now.

  • bsalmoo August 4, 2017 at 10:34 pm

    agree, drop the speed limit to 50. Then when the next distracted driver hits another car, drop it to 40. Then when the next distracted driver hits another car, drop it to 30. Then 20. Then 10. Then 0. There, your logic solved the problem, since you never made the connection that the speed limit was NEVER the issue, it was the distracted driver that was the problem. Push that junk in California. Yeah, I know where you are from.

  • mctrialsguy August 8, 2017 at 11:15 am

    Why can’t everyone just think ahead and slow down…strange that there is so much dialogue and comments about what should be common sense. Also, I am from California and just moved to St. George. Hopefully I will not be taken as a typical California driver that I am moving to get away from. : – )

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