Witness settles red light dispute after 2-car accident on River Road

ST. GEORGE — With the help of a witness, St. George Police officers were able to confirm the cause of a two-car collision at 100 South and River Road Thursday.

At 2:49 p.m., a young adult male driving a red Honda Civic was traveling eastbound on 100 South and ran a red light. A Jeep Patriot traveling northbound on River Road, driven by a woman with her young son riding as passenger, hit the Honda.

A Jeep Patriot is towed from an accident scene after it hit into a Honda Civic that ran a red-light, St. George, Utah, Oct. 23, 2014 |Photo by Holly Coombs, St. George News
A Jeep Patriot is towed from an accident scene after colliding with a Honda Civic that ran a red light, St. George, Utah, Oct. 23, 2014 | Photo by Holly Coombs, St. George News

After colliding with the Jeep, the Honda was knocked off the road into the nearby Red Rock Commons shopping center sign.

The driver of the Jeep told officers the traffic light had been green when she drove through. The Honda driver initially told officers he wasn’t certain what color the light had been when he entered the intersection, but he later told St. George Police Officer Jamison Hale that his light was green, Hale said.

“Luckily, there was a witness who was westbound on 100 south, sitting at the red light,” Hale said. “He didn’t actually see the (accident) until he heard a crash and he looked up and saw both cars in front of him.”

Because the witness had been stopped at the red westbound light at the time of the accident, that proved the eastbound traffic light, through which the Honda driver had traveled, also had to be red, Hale said. This provided further confirmation that the Honda driver had run a red light.

The Honda driver was cited for failure to yield to a traffic signal, Hale said.

“You can see the sun was directly up and in nobody’s eyes, so somebody just ran a red light,” Hale said. “If both had had a green light this wouldn’t happen. We’re just lucky we had a witness.”

Without a witness, the driver of the Jeep could have been held accountable in the accident and been forced to pay for damages through her own insurance company, Hale said, causing her insurance rates go up when she wasn’t at fault.

A red Honda Civic crashes into the Red Rock Commons sign after running a red light and being hit by an oncoming car, St. George, Utah, Oct. 23, 2014 |Photo by Holly Coombs, St. George News
A red Honda Civic crashes into the Red Rock Commons sign after running a red light and being hit by an oncoming car, St. George, Utah, Oct. 23, 2014 | Photo by Holly Coombs, St. George News

“It’s not fair for somebody who runs a red light and causes the crash to get off without his insurance taking care of (the other) person’s damages,” Hale said.

The Jeep driver had a swollen wrist due to airbag deployment and the Honda driver complained of a sore left shoulder after smashing against his driver’s side window during the accident. Both drivers refused medical transport.

Damages to the vehicles included right front tire damage and a possible broken tire axle to the Honda and a smashed up driver side on the Jeep. Both cars were towed from the scene.

Traffic at the east end of 100 South was delayed by the accident and was directed by St. George Police officers during the accident cleanup.

This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

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Email: hcoombs@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

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6 Comments

  • beerbelly October 24, 2014 at 9:04 am

    Just by looking at the cars you can tell it was the Honda driver’s fault. Only a reckless kid would drive a red Honda Civic, and a responsible adult is the driver of the Jeep (sarcasm).
    Turns out to be correct this time.

  • Shawn October 24, 2014 at 9:53 am

    Just because West Bound had a red light didn’t mean East Bound was red. East Bound has Turn arrows. That would allow East to be Green and West to Be Red.

  • John October 24, 2014 at 10:46 am

    East and West have left turn and through lights that run independent of each other. The witness can’t prove anything.

    • PROTECT THE SHEEP October 24, 2014 at 9:57 pm

      ya this so-called “witness” sucks…moving on

  • Koolaid October 24, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    In southern Utah, the one most likely at fault would be the less worthy of the two.

  • Zonkerb November 2, 2014 at 6:48 am

    Well atleast they weren’t dancing in the city limits of St George

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