Drinking in Mesquite, driving to St. George yields crash in Gorge

VIRGIN RIVER GORGE – A St. George man was arrested for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol early Friday morning after crashing his vehicle while traveling through the Virgin River Gorge.

Around 12:44 a.m. MST, 45-year-old Tony Pomikala was northbound on Interstate 15 near Arizona milepost 26, about 5 miles south of the Utah State line, when he lost control of his red 1996 Subaru Legacy, Arizona Department of Public Safety Sgt. John T. Bottoms said.

After losing control of the Subaru, he crashed into the embanked dirt shoulder, Bottoms said, and came to rest blocking the right traffic lane.

“Mr. Pomikala had no recollection of getting in his vehicle and driving from Mesquite,” Bottoms said, “and did not remember how much he had to drink.”

No other vehicles were involved, and Pomikala was the only occupant of the vehicle at the time of the collision.

Pomikala suffered minor injuries as a result of the collision, including airbag burns, minor lacerations and contusions, Bottoms said, but he refused medical help from the St. George Fire Department.

He was arrested and transported to the Mesquite Detention Center where he was booked and charged with DUI.

“It’s actually 2015, we should not be having to make profound statements about impaired driving, especially drunk driving,” Bottoms said. “The dangers have been well-documented, and people still continue to ignore them, putting themselves and others at risk. Mr. Pomikala was very lucky to escape with the minor injuries he received, and the other motorists on Interstate 15 that night were just as lucky.”

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

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.


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