Crash turns to chaos on Sunset Boulevard

Responders clear the scene of a two-vehicle crash at the Sunset Boulevard and North Dixie Drive intersection Thursday morning, St. George, Utah, May 31, 2018 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A two-vehicle crash Thursday morning on Sunset Boulevard turned chaotic as a result of heavy morning traffic and motorists “rubbernecking” – and even running red lights – near the scene.

Responders clear the scene and load vehicles after two-vehicle crash at the Sunset Boulevard and North Dixie Drive intersection Thursday morning, St. George, Utah, May 31, 2018 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

At 9:30 a.m. officers and emergency personnel were dispatched to a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of West Sunset Boulevard and North Dixie Drive involving a tan Hyundai passenger car and a gold GMC Yukon.

Officers found the vehicles blocking one of the travel lanes on Sunset Boulevard and both northbound lanes of Dixie Drive.

With morning traffic severely hindered, officers began directing traffic away from the crash as responders tended to the scene.

Multiple witnesses told officers that the Hyundai was stopped at the traffic light in the southbound lane of Dixie Drive while the Yukon was heading east on Sunset Boulevard.

The Hyundai entered the intersection after the traffic light turned green and was struck by the eastbound Yukon entering the intersection on a red light, St. George Police officer Ken Childs said.

Sunset Boulevard and North Dixie Drive intersection where two-vehicle crash occurred Thursday morning, St. George, Utah, May 31, 2018 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

“We had witnesses southbound, northbound and westbound all through this collision that watched it happen and confirmed the light for Dixie Drive was green,” he said.

The Hyundai sustained extensive damage while the Yukon’s damage was confined to the rear section of the vehicle. Both were towed from the scene.

The driver of the Yukon was later cited for failing to obey a traffic signal, Childs said, and neither driver reported any injuries.

During the incident officers continued directing traffic away from the large intersection where firefighters were busy clearing debris from the roadway, tow trucks operators were loading up the vehicles and officers were taking statements from witnesses.

Sunset Boulevard and North Dixie Drive intersection where two-vehicle crash occurred Thursday morning, St. George, Utah, May 31, 2018 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

Despite their efforts, multiple vehicles ran red lights, continued through the intersection or attempted to to go around other vehicles. This placed the motorists in close proximity to responders working to clear the crash quickly so that traffic could resume.

St. George Police Sgt. Dave Williams was one of the officers directing traffic Thursday.

“When you encounter an accident and there are officers out doing traffic control, please obey the traffic lights,” he said. “They still apply.”

Williams said the only exception is if an officer is directing drivers to do otherwise.

Williams went on to say that drivers need to avoid “rubber-necking” while driving past a crash scene, as it slows traffic even further. But even worse, it can trigger a secondary crash, he said.

“Just look for officers,” he said. “We are wearing the nice bright reflective vests, so we’re easy to see.”

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.  

stgn_gallery exclude_featured_image]

[Email: cblowers@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

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

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!

11 Comments

  • LocalTourist May 31, 2018 at 1:24 pm

    I bet a dollar she was texting.

    • R. May 31, 2018 at 1:34 pm

      I missed the part of the story where there was even a “she” mentioned??

  • PatriotLiberal May 31, 2018 at 2:30 pm

    “Despite their efforts, multiple vehicles ran red lights, continued through the intersection or attempted to to go around other vehicles. This placed the motorists in close proximity to responders working to clear the crash quickly so that traffic could resume.”

    I’m not surprised at all. Traffic in St. George is the worst I’ve ever seen. St. George drivers make it that way.

    • uprightandmovingforward May 31, 2018 at 8:07 pm

      It’s all the California Drivers that moved here. ha ha

      15 years ago, traffic was great and we had very few California drivers here. The only thing that has changed is California drivers that thing they are still in CA.

      • Mike P June 1, 2018 at 9:15 am

        Sorry there “Upright”, but blaming California for your well known bad driving here doesn’t hold water. Sure, we’ve added to the traffic here but that doesn’t account for bad driving. We moved here 2 years ago from Southern California. Yeah, “traffic” is terrible there and one of the reasons we left, but accidents were nowhere near as common per capita as they are here. I drove in California for almost 50 years, I was never involved in an accident (and I also rode a motorcycle for 30 years!) One of the first things we noticed when we moved here was the total lack of curtesy towards other drivers . Heck, I’m retired and don’t drive much anymore but still, I have at least one incident a week where I have to slam on my brakes hard enough to activate the anti-locks because someone blatantly turns left in front of me. Sometimes they look you straight in the eye while they do it. One of main reasons we moved here was because the people here were so friendly and welcoming. But now, it seems the longer were here, the more we have to apologize for moving here.

        • comments June 1, 2018 at 1:09 pm

          The whole ‘friendly and welcoming’ thing is a tactic that LDS’ers will use to try to recruit you into their religion. One of the most important parts of being an LDS’er is to recruit new members into the cult. They are taught this from a very young age. New members = more $$$ for the corporation. Under all the facade of niceness you may encounter here in ‘suddern’ utah is this sort of cutthroat ultra-predatory greed. There is a huge wealth divide in this place, and it causes many people to live angry lives, and a lot of that is expressed in their driving. If a person is working a couple of service jobs and pissed off all the time it often does come out in the form of agressive driving. Super high rents and housing, bad long term job prospects (almost nothing to consider a career, unless you’ve got your own business), and all the old retirees that brought their money with them that simply drive up housing costs en masse. The economic dynamics of this place are extremely unhealthy for people that still have to work for a living. This is just me ranting a bit. They really do drive better in CA. Driving courtesy is often a foreign concept here.

          • Mike P June 2, 2018 at 10:53 am

            comments, ya kinda nailed it here. You’re not ranting, you’re right. We just wish people would understand that we didn’t “bring all our money” here, we moved here because it is beautiful, affordable and the people were great. We honestly could not afford to retire in California, it’s a “working” state, not a retirement friendly state. It just costs too much to live and survive there and honestly, California has nothing left to offer, We’ve already seen the ocean a million times, not that big of deal. And I could care less if I ever go to Disneyland again. (if I have an “extra” $500 , I’ll go to Vegas!) And, unfortunately , now that we’re here, we’re seeing more and more animosity towards Californians. I’ve tested this theory…….If we need or want any service work done, we have no problems as long as we don’t say where we’re from. If we say we’re from California, their all “nice” to us but there’s a good chance we’ll be ignored or never get a call back. We were actually “put-off” for three months by a local awning company before they finally punted us off cuz, now, three months later, they were too busy to do it…….. It’s just a shame, we were so happy to move and retire here and now, we just don’t feel welcome any more. Oh well, I’m sure it’s just us.

          • comments June 2, 2018 at 11:52 am

            didn’t realize their was quite so much animosity towards “outsiders”. Like I said, there are a lot of people working the service industry here that will never be able to afford housing here so long as this place is a tourist/retirement economy with resort housing prices–a lot of jealousy and resentment by people who’ve lived here most of their lives and can’t afford a house. Just tell people you’re from idaho or something. Idaho is a heavily mormon state with plenty of right-wing nutbags, so you likely won’t get the same hostility claiming to be from there. When you say CA people likely assume you’re a “librul”.

  • utahdiablo May 31, 2018 at 9:43 pm

    Yeah Running Red lights are all the Rage nowadays….but you hit me or mine?…I’m not in your ward and will sue your … off … …so you better start paying more attention
    Ed. Elipsis

  • Kilroywashere May 31, 2018 at 9:45 pm

    Dear mr anonymous uprightandmovingforward, 15 years ago distracted driving wasn’t an epidemic as it is now – that along with opiods. Do you drive illegally under Utah law using your cellphone manually? I bet you do. I bet you don’t care that you are putting others in danger. Blaming Californians is not so funny when first responders lives were put on the line by idiot drivers, of which I would gather a certain percentage were born and raised in Utah. If that matters? Ha Ha Ha. make it a joke, until one day you or a loved one, are in an accident – then it is not a joke. We are all Americans. I am not anonymous. “Awakened driving”. google it. Then let everybody know who you are. Oh, I know, trolls cant do that. I understand. Tis no joke, trolls hide behind words. The funny thing is, there are soooo many ex Californians, Ex Texans, Ex Nevadans living here that my guess local Utahans are close to being in the minority now.
    It doesn’t matter. There are also other nationalities. It is sad when an anonymous troll – and you will remain anonymous no doubt, makes light of the fact that first responders were put at risk. Well maybe blame it on the Utahans? Maybe blame it on all of us? blame, blame, blame… But trolls feed off of negative energy. Stay anonymous. Your comment is infantile at best, and YES, as an infant you will remain anonymous. The bottom line is the fact first responders were put at risk, and my guess, you would be one of those folks driving thru the red light talking away on your cellphone. Stay anonymous. Further anonymous posts just solidify the truth that you are a coward. “Local tourist” above was probably right, but ocam’s razor simply defaults to driving distracted on a cell phone. Thou shalt not suffer a troll to live. LOL. and ye be one Mr. uprightandmovingforward. That is why the law is going to change. good luck, and I expect a good anonymous reply.

    • ladybugavenger June 1, 2018 at 9:09 pm

      You forgot ex Mexicoans

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.