WASHINGTON COUNTY – Slick road conditions created by rainy weather are believed to have played a role in two rollovers on Interstate 15 Saturday.
On southbound I-15 near milepost 17, a Toyota Prius was moving too fast for present road conditions and hydroplaned, Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Chris Terry said.
The driver lost on control of the Prius and it veered off the road and up the side of an embankment until it rolled. The car came to a stop aftering flipping onto its roof facing north.
A man and his daughter traveling in the car were wearing their seat belts and escaped injury, Terry said.
“A paramedic arrived on scene and she assessed it and said there were no injuries,” Terry said, adding that an ambulance crew that showed up soon after confirmed no one had been harmed.
The driver was not issued a citation in connection with the accident.
While UHP troopers tended to the scene, the Utah Department of Transportation was also on hand to help divert traffic around the accident.
Some of the vehicles that passed by the rollover looked like they were also going too fast for present conditions, said Todd Abbott, UDOT roadway operations manager.
“With all the rain – light rain at times or heavy rain – you need to reduce your speed,” Abbott said.
Abbott also advises motorists to take time to check their tires, or risk having little to no traction on rainy roadways when you have to hit the brakes. Traveling at a safe distance from the vehicle ahead of you is also encouraged, he said.
“We want everybody to arrive alive and hopefully everybody wears their seat belts,” he said.
Another rollover occurred prior to the one near milepost 17 around 2:30 p.m.
This time, on northbound I-15, a driver lost control of his pickup truck. The truck went off the roadway around milepost 23 and went down a hill until coming to a stop on its side against a tree.
Wet road conditions are also believed to have been a factor in this accident. Despite the rollover, the driver appeared unharmed.
“The driver is up and walking around. Didn’t get hurt. He was lucky. There are skid marks a quarter mile back there,” said Scott Lowrey, a Bureau of Land Management agent who was one of the individuals responoding to the scene.
This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.
St. George News reporter Ric Wayman contributed to this story.
- UPDATE: 3 accidents in 20 minutes; I-15 temporarily shut down; STGnews Videocast
- Good Samaritan aids family after I-15 rollover; STGnews Videocast
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