Poor visibility triggers collisions, fire on interstate; Photo gallery

A six-vehicle crash and subsequent fire halted northbound traffic on I-15, Iron County, Utah, May 30, 2014 | Courtesy of Keven Ross, St. George News

IRON COUNTY — Low visibility conditions were a catalyst in a fiery six-vehicle collision that halted northbound traffic for 1 1/2 hours Friday afternoon on Interstate 15 near milepost 92, 3 miles south of the Panguitch exit.

A six-vehicle crash and subsequent fire halted northbound traffic on I-15, near Panguitch, Utah, May 30, 2014 | Courtesy of Keven Ross, St. George News

The wind was causing sporadic dust across I-15, and vehicles were slowing due to the low visibility when, around 2 p.m., a semitruck rear-ended a car and caused it to go off the right side of the highway, according to a press release from Utah Highway Patrol. An SUV then ran into the back of a triple-combination pickup truck, which was pulling a fifth wheel trailer and a boat. Both the boat and the trailer caught fire, became detached from the pickup and were in the lane when a FedEx semitruck pulling a double load hit the boat and trailer, knocking them into another vehicle.

All traffic lanes were blocked until Utah Highway Patrol could extinguish the fire and remove some of the affected vehicles. Traffic was redirected via frontage roads. I-15 was closed for 1 1/2 hours before one lane of traffic was finally reopened in the left emergency lane.

This was the most current information as of late Friday night, Utah Highway Patrol Public Information Officer Jesse Valenzuela said. Reports earlier in the day had indicated that at least one person was transported by Life Flight, but Valenzuela did not confirm that. He said additional information will be released as it becomes available.

This report is based on preliminary information provided by responders on scene and may not contain the full scope of findings.

St. George News Reporter Aspen Stoddard contributed to this report.

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  • Coach Steve May 31, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    Truck drivers used to be the most courteous and safe drivers on the road. Where did all those guys go? Now they are just always in a hurry drive too fast for weather conditions and cause an inordinate amount of the fatal accidents on the highway.

  • Eric martin May 31, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    You are presuming the truck driver was at fault. Truth is , unless you were there or analyzed the accident on the scene after you are guessing.

  • Jay May 31, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    They should oil the dirt road between the dairy and SR 20 it causes almost all the dust through that area.

  • Mark Vinclio May 31, 2014 at 9:52 pm

    When a Prius stops on the freeway and a guy with a boat and trailer hit the stopped car and stuff jackknife across both lanes you still think its the truck drivers fault. Maybe if he wasn’t behind the trailer and boat he might have seen the stopped car but who knows.

  • zzzz June 1, 2014 at 12:30 am

    uh, yeah 85mph is unsafe for most conditions. and true, lots of truckers are wreckless … to the extreme.
    Ed. ellipsis.

  • Phil Stevens June 1, 2014 at 8:48 am

    How smart do you have to be to stop your car on a freeway. Punk kid Truck Drivers are reckless but there still is a lot of the old boys and some young ones out there that drive trucks just fine.

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