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.
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.
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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.
“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.
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