IRON COUNTY – Utah Highway Patrol has released the name of the 67-year-old man who died in a rollover accident just north of Paragonah on Interstate 15 by milepost 88 Tuesday morning.
The man has been identified as Gary Gregg Prutch, of Centennial, Colorado.
At 7:37 a.m., a call came in to UHP dispatch that a silver GMC Envoy had rolled near the rest stop area just north of Paragonah.
Arriving on the scene, first responders found a man who was already deceased and a woman who was trapped inside the vehicle with her leg out the window and pinned under the passenger side of the vehicle.
The Jaws of Life were used to remove the roof of the SUV, allowing responders to extract the occupants from the vehicle.
Prutch was pronounced dead at the scene. The passenger in the vehicle, a 43-year-old Denver, Colorado, woman, was transported by Life Flight to Dixie Regional Medical Center in critical condition.
The accident is believed to be the result of distracted or drowsy driving, Utah Highway Patrol Lt. Steven Esplin said. Based on the accident pattern, Esplin said, the accident was a textbook rollover.
“The pattern is usually … (they) fall asleep and drift off to the right, and then they hit the rumble strips, and then they correct left,” Esplin said. “Then they start to realize they are going off the road left, then they overcorrect too hard back to the right.”
The Envoy Prutch was driving followed the same pattern by drifting to the right, overcorrecting to the left and then overcorrecting to the right again before rolling a total of 3.5 times and landing on its right side.
The best thing for drivers to do when they realize they are traveling off the road is to take their foot off the gas, drive as straight as possible and then correct back onto the roadway slowly, Esplin said. He explained that even driving straight off the road and into the weeds is safer than jerking the steering wheel in an attempt to correct their course.
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