Accidents bad for business: Cars crash into Dairy Queen, Elevation Fitness

A vehicle crashes into the front of Dairy Queen, St. George, Utah, Nov. 12, 2014 | Photo courtesy of Valerie Memmott, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Two different businesses in St. George are currently repairing damages after cars came crashing in this week.

On Wednesday, a 15-year-old girl with a learner’s permit crashed a car into the front entrance of Dairy Queen, located at 682 N. Dixie Drive in St. George.

An inside look after the car crashed into the main doors of the Dairy Queen on 682 N. Dixie Drive, St. George, Utah, Nov. 12, 2014 | Photo courtesy of Valerie Memmott, St. George News
An inside look after a car crashes into the main doors of the Dairy Queen on Dixie Drive, St. George, Utah, Nov. 12, 2014 | Photo courtesy of Valerie Memmott, St. George News

The girl’s mother, Valerie Memmott, said her daughter was trying to put the car into park but accidentally stepped on the gas pedal instead of the brake.

“When she did that … (the car) jumped up over the curb and went right through the front doors,” Memmott said.

While some might not take damage to their business pleasantly, Memmott said the staff at Dairy Queen handled the situation well, making the-not-so-happy event a little easier for her and her daughter.

“The nice thing is that all the employees were really kind,” Memmott said. “The owners came out and they were very kind (considering) the situation.”

Terri Webster, the owner of the Dairy Queen, said she was understanding about the incident and that almost everyone has a similar sort of story. Sometimes accidents just happen, she said.

Because of the damage to the restaurant’s entrance, the area has been boarded up until repairs can be made, Webster said.

“The door frame is ripped clear out and the stucco is damaged,” she said. “We had a framer come and look at the damage but we had already boarded it up, so we still don’t know if there are broken boards behind that (wall).”

This Dairy Queen location is fairly new, having just opened up in March. The restaurant is still open for business, Webster said, but patrons have to use a separate side door on the patio until renovations are completed.

No injuries occurred as a result of the accident, and Memmott said she will be taking financial responsibility for the damages to the restaurant.

“I told my daughter, ‘There’s your Christmas present … it’s (going) towards Dairy Queen,’” Memmott said.

A collision at the Dairy Queen on Dixie Drive, St. George, Utah, Nov. 12, 2014 | Submitted photo, St. George News
A collision at the Dairy Queen on Dixie Drive, St. George, Utah, Nov. 12, 2014 | Submitted photo, St. George News

No citation was given to Memmott or her daughter.

The accident at Dairy Queen was not the only car versus business accident to occur this week. On Tuesday afternoon, a 35-year-old woman crashed her vehicle into an island and then a pillar outside Elevation Fitness, located at 1090 N. Bluff St. in St. George, in the Sunset Corner shopping center.

The woman was driving in the parking lot when she allegedly crashed into an unoccupied parked car, pushing that vehicle into another unoccupied parked car, St. George Police Sgt. Sam Despain said. She then drove into the island and then collided with the pillar.

“So there (were) actually three vehicles involved but only one vehicle moving at the time,” Despain said.

The vehicles sustained only minor damage, and the pillar in front of Elevation Fitness was also damaged. The estimated cost of damages to the building is $15,000, Despain said.

The woman claimed a vehicle malfunction was the cause of the accidents, he said. There was nothing to indicate that alcohol was a factor, he added, but the woman got herself into trouble in another way.

Witnesses say she was trying to leave the area after hitting these cars,” Despain said.

In addition to attempting to leave the scene, the woman was also found to be driving on a suspended license.

The woman was cited for leaving the scene of an accident and for operating a vehicle on a suspended driver’s license. The charges could have been worse for her, Despain said, but because the incidents occurred in a parking lot, which is private property, there were no additional moving violations as there might have been had the accidents occurred on a public road.

Nobody was injured as a result of the collisions.

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

Assistant Editor Cami Cox Jim contributed to this report.

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  • koolaid November 14, 2014 at 11:17 pm

    A 15 year old princess in a flurry crashes into the queen, and was the adult woman fit to drive?

    • MickeyD November 15, 2014 at 7:51 am

      My word, aren’t you a bit presumptive to assume you know anything about this young woman or her mother. And somehow this accident calls into question the mother’s fitness? Your long list of comments on this news site certainly leave many of us questioning YOUR fitness. I know a good place you can go to get some help. And it’s a long ways out of Dixie.

  • Zonkerb November 15, 2014 at 12:59 am

    It’s amazing just how stupid drivers in St George are. It’s a good its an open book test because there is no way those idiots could get a drivers license state

    • Koolaid November 15, 2014 at 3:45 am

      Dixie drivers are so stupid it’s amazing they can even read the questions and find the answers in the open book. Maybe that is the reason for the accidents. They think they have to look in the manual while they’re driving. For instance, when they see a red light or stop sign, they whip out the driver manual and look for instructions on what do do. In those seconds of distraction to look in the driver’s manual, they crash into dairy queens, fitness centers, other buildings, retaining walls, trees, cars, bicyclists. That explains why Dixie motorists stop in the intersection instead of before the intersection. By the time they find the instruction on how to stop at an intersection, they are already in it.

      • MickeyD November 15, 2014 at 7:55 am

        @zonkerz and kookaid, by nature of your apparent residence here in good ol’ St George, you both qualify as St George-Dixie drivers, so I assume your comments relate specifically to your own driving skills. If that is the case, please be careful out there.

        • Zonkerb November 15, 2014 at 11:55 pm

          Well I don’t live in St George …* so the comment pertains to you and your family but it seems you live in St George…… Ahh you poor little thing you got your pretty pink panties ruffled…. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Whaaaaaaaa Whaaaaaaaa lWhaaaaaaaa
          Editor ellipsis …*

  • Billy November 15, 2014 at 1:06 am

    I moved our here back in April from Georgia. We really loved it out here except for alot of bad drivers. I hate to admit there are some terrible drivers here in Southern Utah. I thought Georgia was bad. But at least the crime rate isnt as bad out here.

    • tight magic undies November 15, 2014 at 6:18 am

      The crime is low unless you are a dog in Cedar City or a child bride in Colorado City.

    • JOSH DALTON (INCOGNEGRO) November 15, 2014 at 7:55 am

      Billy I was born and raised in Georgia! We are not bad drivers down in the REAL Dixie. We are just aggressive and high speed drivers. Average speed on I-85,I-285 and I-75 is 90mph, and this with 8 lanes of traffic. I urge you to move back to Georgia before you suffer from withdrawal from the lack of green trees,rain, and people who are not ignorant. GO FALCONS!

  • Eric November 15, 2014 at 8:08 am

    There are very bad drivers everywhere. Its always annoying how people say “only in St. George or Utah” All things happen everywhere. Its individuals needing some sort of claim to exclusivity for their boring lives.

  • Andrew November 15, 2014 at 8:59 am

    The 15 year old should work at Dairy Queen to pay for the damage to the restaurant’s entrance.

  • Seattelite November 15, 2014 at 9:27 am

    So glad to hear no one was injured. I’m from Seattle, WA… And when I moved to southern Utah, I was very surprised at how horrible the drivers are here. Not only horrible but very rude, almost like they’re in their own world and no body else is driving in the road besides them. I’ve lived in Portland, OR too for a bit and still I say southern Utah has the worst drivers. Might I add… Everyone needs to get off their cell phones, texting and talking both alike. No ones invincible to reckless driving.

    • Koolaid November 15, 2014 at 2:28 pm

      But are you worthy?

    • nomo November 16, 2014 at 1:47 pm

      Here’s a note to all of you who think “St George drivers” are bad….WHERE do you think all of these people came from?? The vast majority of people here are NOT LOCALS! This town has exploded in size due to people scrambling here from all over the country to escape big cities with high crime & seeking a “safe haven” in which to raise children & settle into a quiet life…well guess what? Now, if you believe this town is full of bad drivers, maybe you should try to remember that 90% of them learned to drive in CA & NV & GA & NY & wherever else you all came from! If you were true locals & had been here 50 years ago, you’d see how idiotic you sound blaming these issues on the town itself. I recently drove from LAX to San Bernardino (60 miles give or take) & it took me 3.5 hours. If I had to live there & deal with that every day I think I would hate my life. So if you moved here from that type of chaos, stop complaining & enjoy the fact that you can still (for now anyway) drive from one end of town to the other in 20 minutes with traffic. And WATCH OUT for those California transplants…they are so aggressive behind the wheel!!

      • California Transplant November 16, 2014 at 3:32 pm

        Your post is so ignorant it is funny. I’ll bet you are the same rocket scientist who wrote in to the Spectrum a few years ago, telling how everybody who drove like idiots had out of state plates on their cars.
        No one is blaming the town itself for the idiocy of the humans behind the steering wheels. Now I wasn’t around all that long ago, but I have been given to believe that a lot of years went by, when no driver education was available in the public schools here. If that is right, it is criminal on the part of the school district brass.
        If that is not right, then the driver’s ed teachers sure did a lousy job of teaching. Add to that, the fact that everyone here feels they are above the law and repercussions of their actions and you have a deadly combination.
        But that’s OK, you just go right on thinking whatever you want to think. And everybody else will point at you and laugh.

  • Brooklyn November 15, 2014 at 10:48 am

    Wow so angry. Accidents happen.

    • My Evil Twin November 15, 2014 at 5:13 pm

      Yep. So does stupidity. But I can honestly see how that could happen to a novice driver. Not so much the other one though.
      Wouldn’t it make more sense to take your novice driver out on back roads where traffic is light to non-existent until she has become thoroughly familiar with the controls on the vehicle? Shoot, I learned to drive at age 10 out on the Nebraska prairie. Like any other farm kid, by the time I was old enough to get a driver’s license, I had already racked up thousands of miles.

      • Zonkerb November 17, 2014 at 3:11 am

        So why not get in your car and go back to Nebraska. We wouldn’t miss you..

  • arrowone November 16, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    Nomo…….Fifty years ago how many cars were on the road? I was sixteen then and there’s quite a difference. Mostly stop signs and two lane roads.

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