Mini Cooper gets bashed by Dodge truck

A Mini Cooper was rear-ended at the intersection of Bluff Street and Sunset Boulevard, St. George, Utah, July 3, 2015 | Photo by Nataly Burdick, St. George News

ST.GEORGE — The back end of a Mini Cooper was smashed in after the driver of a white Dodge 250 truck didn’t see the car stopped at the light.

The collision happened at the intersection of Bluff Street and Sunset Boulevard Friday around 4 p.m., when the stop light on Bluff Street turned yellow.

The driver of the Mini Cooper, Derek Schweitzer, was driving northbound and stopped in the furthest outside lane of the three left-turn lanes on Bluff Street.

The 20-something-year-old woman driving the Dodge told police she had been distracted by something outside the car and didn’t see the light or the car there, St. George Police Sgt. Dave Williams said.

She looked up before hitting the car and slammed the brakes, Williams said, but couldn’t stop in time.

She was issued a citation for improper lookout.

Schweitzer said he heard the screech of the tires and looked into his rear-view mirror in time to see the truck hit.

Williams said the stopping distance may have been increased because hail was starting to fall on the road from a storm that hit that afternoon.

The impact shattered his back windshield and the back side windows, Schweitzer said.

The force of the crash also sent his glasses and his phone, which had been in his shirt pocket, flying into the back seat, Schweitzer said.

While Schweitzer said he had some neck pain, neither he nor the other driver were transported by ambulance, although he did visit the emergency room at Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George, where they told him he was OK and would just be sore for a while and to take it easy.

“You know, it could have been a lot worse,” he said.

Both drivers were wearing seat belts, Williams said, and there were no passengers in either car.

The outside and middle left-turn lanes from Bluff Street onto Sunset Boulevard were blocked for about 30 minutes, Williams said.

This was to slow traffic down because of the low visibility and water on the road from the storm, Williams said.

Kind of a, forgive the pun, but perfect storm for more accidents to happen,” he said.

The Mini Cooper was towed from the scene but the driver of the Dodge was able to drive the truck away.

St. George Fire Department and Gold Cross Ambulance also responded to the scene.

This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement and one of the parties and may not contain the full scope of findings.

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9 Comments

  • indy-vfr July 4, 2015 at 9:22 am

    In St George, a yellow light means “blow through the intersection”

    • mesaman July 4, 2015 at 5:22 pm

      Very true. Any vehicle within 150 yards of an intersection, along with any other vehicle within 10 feet of the vehicle in front, may pass through an intersection when the light is yellow but not yet red. If the light has turned red, the vehicle closest to the intersection may continue through, since they can’t stop and stay distracted. St George Ordinance, not yet passed but certainly honored.

  • fun bag July 4, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    maybe she was studying for her open book driving test and got distracted…

  • DB July 4, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    Yes, it was dark and stormy, the Dodge driver was clearly at fault, but I’ll bet the driver of the DARK colored MiniCooper didn’t have his lights on…Just saying…

    • CaliGirl July 4, 2015 at 5:03 pm

      Stormy, yes. Dark no. Applied brakes makes the taillights shine. Big truck, young woman (who admits) distracted by something… it’s clearly her fault. What next, mini was too mini and shouldn’t be allowed on the road? Put the blame where it belongs!

      • Simone July 5, 2015 at 11:58 am

        Yes she was distracted but I think there is a higher probability it was by her cell phone then it was “…by something outside the car”.

      • DB July 5, 2015 at 4:26 pm

        This is an old thread and perhaps only the moderator will see it. Caligirl, look above and you’ll see that we agree on who was at fault. You also have a great point about the tail lights, though if he had a manual transmission, well… My point, which I didn’t express well, is that with today’s electronic dashboards, folks don’t turn on their headlights towards dark or in bad weather when they should. Seems to me as though it’s usually a dark colored car that does this, though I can’t prove that, of course.

  • ladybugavenger July 5, 2015 at 1:55 am

    She was cited for improper lookout……what is that? That’s a new one for me. Dang open book test.

    • fun bag July 5, 2015 at 3:33 pm

      its almost like they pulled it out of a hat, like you would a rabbit. Completely retarded…

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