Furniture items, mattress spilled on I-15 leads to rollover

WASHINGTON COUNTY – A vehicle rollover occurred on the interstate Friday when a driver attempted to avoid debris left in the roadway.

Around 5:10 p.m., Friday, Jobe Thomas, 19, of Laughlin, Nev., was driving northbound on Interstate 15 around mile post 33 when he swerved to avoid a mattress and dresser piece sitting in the road, according to a statement from the Utah Highway Patrol. Mile post 33 is near the Ranch Exit, Snowfield.

Thomas over-corrected and his car crossed through the median and across southbound lanes of I-15. At this point the car hit a southbound semitrailer driven by Sammy Rodriguez, 55, of Covina, Calif. Thomas’s car then went off the southbound shoulder and rolled several times before coming to a stop on its roof, some 20 to 30 yards from the roadway.

Thomas was wearing his seatbelt and sustained minor injuries and was transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George by ambulance, the UHP said. Rodriguez was not injured.

The UHP determined the dresser piece and mattress left in the roadway came off a northbound pickup truck driven by Timothy Kessler, 52, of Newcastle, Wyo. He was issued a citation for failure to properly secure his cargo.

“UHP asks all drivers transporting items in their vehicle to properly secure them,” the agency said in its statement on the crash. “The weight of the items alone is not sufficient to ensure they will not fall out or be blown out of the vehicle. By State law, all items extending above or beyond the bed of a pickup or the walls of a trailer, on top of a vehicle, or any item that may be blown out of the enclosed area must be tarped or securely tied down.”

Ed Note: This report is based on preliminary information provided by the UHP and may not contain the full scope of findings.

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.


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  • lshmot2 December 21, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    I figure hitting almost anything that jumps in your path is better then sliding, flipping, and being dragged by on coming traffic. Just hold on tight to the wheel and steady brake.

  • bUB December 21, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    The person who dropped the items on the roadway is liable for all damages.

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