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.
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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