1 semi rear-ends another, scattering metal debris across I-15

Scene of a rear-end collision involving two semitractor-trailers on northbound Interstate 15 near Exit 62, Cedar City, Utah, Aug. 3, 2018 | Photo courtesy of Utah Highway Patrol, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — A semitractor-trailer sustained heavy front-end damage after its driver rear-ended another semi’s trailer on Interstate 15 north of Cedar City late Thursday night.

Scene of a rear-end collision involving two semitractor-trailers on northbound Interstate 15 near Exit 62, Cedar City, Utah, Aug. 3, 2018 | Photo courtesy of Utah Highway Patrol, St. George News / Cedar City News

Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Daniel Nielson said the incident occurred a few minutes before midnight about a quarter-mile north of the I-15 northbound on-ramp at Exit 62.

“A semi truck was merging onto the freeway and it just got established in the right-hand lane and was still accelerating,” Nielson told Cedar City News by phone Friday afternoon. “(The driver) said to the best of his knowledge, he was going about 60 to 65 miles an hour when he got rear-ended by another semi truck.”

Nielson said in the aftermath of the initial collision, at least four other passenger vehicles struck debris in the road, causing several flat tires and other damage.

“When that truck rear-ended the other one, it shoved the engine up underneath the passenger compartment, broke the transmission apart and dropped the drive shaft. All the chunks of metal, cast iron gears and everything else were scattered for about 150, 200 yards up the interstate from where he came to a stop. That’s what was causing all the tire damage.”

Scene of a rear-end collision involving two semitractor-trailers on northbound Interstate 15 near Exit 62, Cedar City, Utah, Aug. 3, 2018 | Photo courtesy of Utah Highway Patrol, St. George News / Cedar City News

No serious injuries were reported, but the driver in the second truck was transported via private vehicle to Cedar City Hospital for evaluation.

Nielson said by the time he arrived at the hospital to check on the driver after 3 a.m. Friday, the man had already been discharged. That driver received a citation for careless driving and not maintaining proper following distance.

It took UHP troopers approximately two hours to clear the scene. The right lane of the interstate was temporarily closed during investigation and cleanup. Cedar City Fire Department and Gold Cross Ambulance personnel also responded, as did multiple tow trucks.

Nielson offered a safety reminder for motorists to slow down and, if possible, move over if they see other vehicles involved in an accident, or notice the flashing lights of a police or emergency vehicle.

“It seems like people are just too concerned about losing the 30 or 40 seconds that they might lose in their entire trip by slowing down. I don’t even think it’s that much. It’s 15 or 20 seconds for them to slow down 20 miles an hour below the speed limit, go past and then accelerate,” he said. “People just don’t want to touch their brakes and slow down a little bit. It’s extremely frustrating.”

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

Email: jrichards@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

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

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1 Comment

  • Mike P August 5, 2018 at 11:23 am

    Boy, their going to have a hell of a time blaming this on a regular vehicle.

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