Storm of traffic events dot the Interstate and SR-9

Accident on Interstate 15 southbound at mile post 15. A deputy slowing down traffic with phones directing the cars from the fast lane to the slow lane or outside lane. Deputy Brock Bently with the vehicle as the wrecker loads the vehicle. Washington County, Utah, July 20, 2013 | Photo by Jason Little, St. George News

WASHINGTON COUNTY – A series of traffic accidents, related and unrelated, occurred on Interstate 15  this evening between 6-7 p.m. both before and after a deluge of rainfall in the area, causing water and mud to flow across the highway. When the storm hit, winds also picked up a sign on state Route-9 in Hurricane, creating traffic backups and delays until the sign was cleared.

In all cases, there were only minor to no injuries, Utah Highway Patrol spokesman Jesse Velasquez said.

At mile post 10 – I-15 northbound

A U-Haul truck pulling a U-Haul trailer, traveling northbound in the right lane on I-15, began fishtailing when the trailer came unhitched, Velasquez said. A minivan behind the U-Haul swerved to the left to avoid rear-ending the U-Haul. The minivan then sideswiped an Acura SUV.  There were no injuries and all vehicles were driven from the scene, Velasquez said. It was just before the heavy winds and rains occurred.

Between mile posts 14 and 16 –I-15 southbound

When heavy rains hit the Washington area, some flooding and mud flow occurred between mile posts 14-16  causing one car traveling southbound to crash. The car swerved to avoid the flooding and mud, Velasquez said, and hit the center barrier.  The driver sustained only minor injuries.

On state Route 9

In Hurricane, a road sign was carried by heavy winds onto the highway’s traffic lanes, causing traffic delays but no wrecks.  Velasquez said that Utah Department of Transportation had one of its incident management trucks in the area, which was able to go and mitigate the problem.

Responding authorities were occupied throughout the region as the storm that came through Washington County came on fast and swift, causing flooding and property damage. Particulars are therefore limited as we go to publication. This report may be updated as further details and photos are received.

Update July 21, 2013 – An additional accident occurred Saturday at mile post 23 near Leeds. It was fatal. See full story here.


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