HURRICANE – A trip from St. George to Cedar City for a doctor’s appointment turned disastrous Wednesday for a Dixie State University student who was feeling a little under the weather.
Just before reaching Exit 16 to Hurricane as she was heading north on Interstate 15, Courtney Carpenter said, she noticed her white Toyota Corolla acting funny.
“I don’t know (what happened),” Carpenter said, explaining the car suddenly began losing speed no matter how hard she pressed on the accelerator.
Pulling the car to the side of the freeway and jumping out, she saw smoke coming from under the vehicle and then saw flames.
Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Danny Ferguson was the first emergency responder to arrive at the scene. When he arrived, he said, flames were just starting to come out from under the front bumper of the car.
UHP, Washington City Police and Washington City Fire Department all responded to the call, which came in at 3:43 p.m.
At the time of the incident, Ferguson said, it was not known how the fire started. It would take an investigation to determine the cause, he said.
Carpenter said she was able to get everything she needed out of her car, with the exception of her computer, before the flames consumed the vehicle. Carpenter’s grandmother, who came to pick Carpenter up, said her granddaughter only had liability insurance.
Carpenter’s car was a total loss.
Carpenter said, more than anything else, she was angry she missed her doctor’s appointment in Cedar City, as she had been feeling bad all day.
She said she was grateful to make it out of the car before the flames got any worse.
“It sucks,” she said. “But, it’s like, what are you going to do about it?”
Though Carpenter’s car was a total loss, her grandmother said, she was just happy to find her granddaughter in safe condition.
Senior Reporter Mori Kessler contributed to this report.
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