2 taken to hospital after driver goes up 30-foot hill, crashes head-on into median

Traffic backed up on Interstate 15 in the Virgin River Gorge does not depict the actual scene and is used for illustration only, Arizona, March 12, 2015 | Photo by Kimberly Scott, St. George News

VIRGIN RIVER GORGE – A man and a woman were taken to the hospital Monday night after a man, traveling through the Virgin River Gorge, left the roadway on Interstate 15 and lost control of his vehicle as he went up a 30-foot hill before coming back down and crashing head-on into the concrete median.

Around 8:40 p.m. MST, a 28-year-old man was northbound on Interstate 15 near Arizona milepost 24 with two backseat passengers – a 31-year-old woman and a 35 year-old man – and a car full of luggage. He lost control of his 2007 Nissan Murano after leaving the roadway, Arizona Department of Public Safety Sgt. John T. Bottoms said.

“He left the right shoulder of the road and went up a 30-foot embank(ment) shoulder – up a hill, basically – came down and went straight across the highway, and went head-on into the median wall,” Bottoms said.

While the driver was properly restrained with a seat belt, he said, the two passengers in the back were asleep and were not restrained.

“All of the luggage shot forward,” Bottoms said, “and hit them and crushed them up against the seats in front of them.”

The two passengers in the backseat were transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George by a passing motorist, Bottoms said, to be treated for their injuries. One passenger appeared to have a fractured arm, he said.

“The driver indicated he didn’t know why he left the road,” Bottoms said. “He thinks it happened when he reached down for a soda but the trooper actually thinks that he fell asleep, so he’s going to work on investigating that.”

The vehicle was rendered inoperable and had to be towed from the scene.

This report is based on preliminary information provided by the authorities and may not contain the full scope of findings.

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1 Comment

  • native born new mexican June 23, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    I do not drive through the gorge sleepy. Not ever, not never. Tooo dangerous!

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