Confused driver yields head-on collision at Snow Canyon Parkway intersection

ST. GEORGE — Unfamiliarity with the new Snow Canyon Parkway interchange led to a crash Thursday morning as a Nevada driver, unsure of what to do, tried an illegal turn and collided head-on with a pickup truck.

A head on crash at Snow Canyon Parkway resulted in no injuries Thursday morning, St. George, Utah, June 25, 2015 | Photo by Ric Wayman, St. George News
A head-on crash at Snow Canyon Parkway resulted in no injuries, St. George, Utah, June 25, 2015 | Photo by Ric Wayman, St. George News

Just before 9:30 a.m., the driver of a white Scion from Las Vegas was headed north to Veyo, and took the off-ramp to turn onto Snow Canyon Parkway instead of taking the new through-way lane, St. George Police Sgt. Craig Harding said.

The passenger in the Scion told the driver that they needed to go straight through the intersection, confusing the driver, Harding said. As the driver began to make a left turn from the right turn lane, the Scion collided head-on with a pickup truck heading south and attempting to turn east onto Red Hills Parkway.

The estimated combined speed at which the vehicles collided was 30-40 mph, Harding said. Airbags were deployed and seat belts were being used, he said, and, despite the force of the crash, no injuries were reported.

The driver of the Scion was issued a citation for failure to obey a traffic device.

“On the road,” Harding said, “there’s painted an arrow, and the arrow is the only direction you’re allowed to go.”

Red Hills Parkway at the intersection was partially blocked for about 45 minutes as crews removed the wrecked vehicles and cleaned up fluid spills.

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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  • The Rest Of The Story June 25, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    “As the driver began to make a left turn from the right turn lane”
    Must have learned how to drive in Utah!!!

    • St. G June 25, 2015 at 3:25 pm

      Based on state-by-state statistics from the NTSB, Utah drivers ranked 9th best overall in USA.

    • DB June 25, 2015 at 3:54 pm

      You’ve obviously never driven in Texas, Florida, Louisiana………….

    • DesertBill June 26, 2015 at 9:01 am

      You obviously are not familiar with this intersection. There are three southbound lanes as you approach the intersection. The far right one is to turn west onto Snow Canyon Parkway. The two left lanes are BOTH for left turns.

      Unlike the Nevada driver, this driver followed the rules and turned left from this lane as opposed to illegally driving straight through the intersection.

  • mmsandie June 25, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    I live off Valley View and made the same mistake, there is no sign going up bluff st saying bear left to approach light and turn right for skyline dr… It looks like you bear right and go over the hill, but it drops you down onto rte 18 and doesn,t go right to skyline dr.. Now I down, use bluff st. At all .. I have lived here 20 yrs, and it’s too busy, signs at bad as you approach sunset rd fm the south approach, and people cross over Alana’s all the time, it’s dangerous to go up bluff and turn on sunset rd. lanes are not marked..

    • CaliGirl June 26, 2015 at 3:44 am

      If you drive like you write, please do us all a favor and stay home (or call a cab) and forefit your license. In fact, just throw the keyboard in the trash.

    • BIG GUY June 26, 2015 at 9:26 am

      MMSANDIE, northbound Bluff Street’s three left turn lanes at Sunset and the need to exit left to turn right on Red Hills Parkway can be confusing. But in my opinion, the signs are very clear. Take a good look at them next time you’re up that way.

  • R. June 25, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    This is a terrible intersection, I’ve traveled by car in many states and have never seen an intersection where you take the “off ramp” to continue on the highway. Not only that but stay left to make a right hand turn? What would have been wrong with the old exit left and turn right or left at the bottom of the off ramp? I feel it boils down to getting funding to improve the intersection of Bluff & Sunset (which is sorely needed) but when that didn’t work out they had to spend the money somewhere.

    • DesertBill June 26, 2015 at 9:07 am

      Or you can pay attention to the road signs (which is always a good idea) and then things go smoothly. For those who can read, and process simple driving instructions, it is a great intersection.

  • The Dude June 26, 2015 at 5:31 am

    Why is it that St George and Utah love to test the driving public with unique intersections. The roundabout, the diverging diamond, the flyover,, the blinking yellow left turn light, the thrU-turn (Draper and West Valley). Are the city engineers suckers for a gimmick or easy fix?

    • BIG GUY June 26, 2015 at 9:28 am

      THE DUDE, all of these new configurations make traffic flow more smoothly but since they are new, they take some getting used to. It’s likely to be years before most drivers take them for granted.

  • sagemoon June 26, 2015 at 10:13 am

    I’m still irritated this intersection was “fixed” before the intersection at Bluff and Sunset. I hate that intersection.

  • indy-vfr June 26, 2015 at 10:21 am

    Yes, that’s a confusing intersection — when you’re driving “St George Style” (talking on the phone, tailgating, and flying 10 to 30 mph over the posted speed)

  • fun bag June 26, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    Nevada has it’s own share of idiot drivers as well…

  • Bowlinggreen123 June 26, 2015 at 11:20 pm

    Absolutely one of the biggest wastes of money for St George. Espy you can be proud of this failure!!

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