Back-to-back crashes when drivers fail to yield before making turns

Officers respond to 77th failure to yield collision for the year on Red Hills Parkway where it connects to Red Cliffs Drive, St. George, Utah, Feb. 27, 2018 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Two crashes within 20 minutes of each other were triggered by the most common cause of traffic collisions in St. George: failing to yield on a left turn.

Police and fire respond to two-vehicle crash on Red Hills Parkway and Skyline Drive, St. George, Utah, Feb. 27, 2018 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

“It’s the No. 1 reason for crashes here, and we are seeing it today at multiple scenes,” St. George Police officer Lona Trombley said.

Officers and emergency personnel were dispatched to the first crash at the intersection of Red Hills Parkway and Skyline Drive at 8:11 a.m., which involved a black Chevrolet Cruze and a silver Toyota Prius, St. George Police officer Andy Mickelson.

The woman driving the Chrevrolet was stopped at the red light waiting to make a left turn onto Skyline drive heading south, while the Toyota was heading east.

Just as the light, which was not a designated left turn traffic light, turned green, the Chevrolet pulled out to make the turn ahead of the eastbound traffic going straight.

Meanwhile, an eastbound trash truck was also stopped at the red light in the inside lane while the eastbound Toyota, situated in the outside lane and more than 100 yards from the intersection just as the light turned green, approached the intersection.

Officers and firefighters respond to crash at intersection of Red Hills Parkway where it connects to Red Cliffs Drive 20 minutes after first crash, St. George, Utah, Feb. 27, 2018 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

The Toyota driver continued toward the intersection without reducing his speed and just as he passed the trash truck he struck the Chevrolet that darted out ahead of traffic.

“The Chevrolet driver’s view of the outside lane was blocked by the trash truck stopped in the inside lane, so she never saw the Toyota until it struck her vehicle,” Mickelson said.

He added that the Toyota driver’s view of the Chevrolet was also blocked by the same truck, and the Toyota driver told officers “that black car came out of nowhere.”

Both vehicles sustained significant damage in the crash and were towed from the scene, while the woman driving the Chevrolet was later cited for failing to yield on a left turn.

Officers and firefighters respond to crash at intersection of Red Hills Parkway where it connects to Red Cliffs Drive 20 minutes after first crash, St. George, Utah, Feb. 27, 2018 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

At 8:31 a.m., the second crash was reported less than three miles away at the intersection where East Red Hills Parkway connects to Red Cliffs Drive involving a white Dodge Dakota pickup truck and a dark gray Chrysler minivan.

Officers determined that the minivan was headed south on Red Hills Parkway while the Dodge was headed north on the same street.

Entering the intersection the woman driving the minivan turned directly in front of the Dodge and was struck on the passenger’s side panel by the Dodge.

The minivan sustained significant damage in the crash and the driver was later cited for failing to yield on a left turn.

Tow trucks, fire engines, an ambulance and officers went from one scene to the next to tend to the crashes.

This report is based on statements from police or other emergency 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, 2018, all rights reserved.

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1 Comment

  • Larry February 27, 2018 at 8:58 pm

    These crashes seam to be happening with much more frequency. The Common denominator is the relatively new, Yellow Left Turn Arrows at these intersections. Maybe someone needs to start studying if these are possibly adding to the problem? Would it be less confusing if we just went back to knowing we always yield to the oncoming traffic when light is green and (we) are making a left hand turn? At this particular intersection it starts as a flashing yellow then becomes a solid Yellow….whats up with that? I think this is what would be called Signal Overload.

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