Bluff Street crash adds to growing number of collisions that police say are avoidable

White Honda Civic and blue Mercury Marquis are towed after two-vehicle crash on Bluff Street, St. George, Utah, Jan. 30, 2018 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — One driver suffered minor injuries and another was briefly trapped inside her vehicle Tuesday after a two-vehicle crash on Bluff Street, another in an increasing number of collisions since the widening project began earlier this month.

Shortly before 10 a.m., officers and emergency responders were dispatched to a crash on Bluff Street, about 100 yards south of the Snow Canyon Parkway interchange, that involved a white Honda Civic and a blue Mercury Marquis.

Traffic is affected for more than 15 minutes when two cars collide on Bluff Street, St. George, Utah, Jan. 30, 2018 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

Responders found both vehicles blocking the southbound lane of Bluff Street, and the woman driving the Marquis was unable to exit through either door of her vehicle due to extensive damage sustained during the collision, St. George Police officer Scott Cleveland said.

The St. George Fire Department was called in to assist.

“She couldn’t get either door open, so fire responded and forced the passenger door open and the driver was able to climb out,” Cleveland said.

Paramedics found the Marquis driver uninjured, while the man driving the Honda suffered injuries to his hands but declined transport to the hospital.

Officers learned after speaking with witnesses at the scene that the Honda was heading south on Bluff Street, where construction had reduced the road to a single lane, and as the driver was merging into traffic, he reduced his speed as he yielded to other vehicles.

Meanwhile, the Marquis traveling directly behind the Honda realized too late that traffic had come to nearly a stop, and struck the rear bumper of the small passenger car, which spun both vehicles in the roadway.

“She said she didn’t see him stop for the other cars when she ran into the back of him,” Cleveland said.

Both cars sustained extensive damage and were towed from the roadway. The drivers were properly restrained at the time of the crash.

Traffic, already affected by construction, was further impeded for more than 15 minutes while responders cleared debris and redirected traffic away from the crash, assisted by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

Sgt. Spencer Holmes told St. George News that the number of crashes on Bluff Street has seen a dramatic increase since construction began, but the crash types that officers are seeing are ones that can easily be avoided if drivers pay closer attention to the traffic around them.

“We are having multiple accidents in these heavy traffic areas in the daytime,” Holmes said, “and drivers need to allow more time to deal with the congestion, to slow down and pay attention to traffic around them, particularly in these heavily congested areas.”

According to the Utah Department of Transportation, more than 43,000 vehicles travel on Bluff Street on any given day, and the current project is intended to help with current and anticipated traffic levels as the region continues to grow.

Read more: So what is this Bluff Street project all about?

The St. George Police Department, St. George Fire Department, Gold Cross Ambulance and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office responded and tended to the scene.

This report is based on statements from police or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.  

Email: cblowers@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

 

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7 Comments

  • Caveat_Emptor January 30, 2018 at 4:26 pm

    After several trips past this construction zone recently, I have to wonder if further traffic engineering needs to be conducted. Construction activities could be going on for months, so any corrections now would be really useful.
    Distracted driving will not be fixed, but perhaps speeds could be moderated further, so these distracted drivers have more time to respond, and the resulting impacts will be less damaging…….

  • Lastdays January 30, 2018 at 5:37 pm

    I think 99.9% of all crashes are preventable, but if an idiot causes a crash in front of you, it might not be “avoidable”. Big difference there.

  • 12345 January 30, 2018 at 5:46 pm

    Yeah this way they can concentrate on their cell phones

  • ladybugavenger January 30, 2018 at 7:51 pm

    Commenters of st George news have been saying this for years, glad to see the police agree.

  • utahdiablo January 30, 2018 at 9:01 pm

    Yeah, the ‘fun’ is just starting folks….and no these POS won’t put down their cell phones….just wait a few more years when you have another 30,000 folks livin la vida loca aqui

    • LocalTourist January 31, 2018 at 2:11 pm

      Yep.
      Self-driving cars cannot get here soon enough. That way people can text, or drink, to their little heart’s content.
      Yeah, some have been involved in rashes, but most of those were caused by other human-operated vehicles.

  • indy-vfr January 31, 2018 at 4:15 pm

    They’re all in training for the new wider Bluff . With the additional lanes, should be able to fly down at 60 to 70 in the future rather than the current 40 to 60 mph.

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