APPLE VALLEY – An effort to avoid debris in the roadway turned into a three-vehicle accident involving a large Utah National Guard truck Thursday night.
Just after 8 p.m., Washington County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to milepost 15 on state Route 59 near Apple Valley to remove some debris from the roadway. Motorists had contacted the St. George Communications Center to report that a bookshelf was in the middle of the road.
Before the deputies arrived at the scene, a chain reaction of rear-end collisions had already occurred, Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Mike Murphy said.
The driver of a white Pontiac passenger car began slowing down when she came upon the bookshelf. Behind her was a large, four-door Ford pickup that also began to slow down. Behind the Ford was a large military transport vehicle that wasn’t able to stop in time.
“There’s just no way he could stop in time and hit the back of the white pickup truck and pushed it into back of the white car,” Murphy said.
The rear areas of the Pontiac and Ford were demolished. The military transport also sustained some damage but appeared unscathed compared to the other vehicles.
Two boys in the white pickup were taken to Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George by Hurricane Valley Fire and Rescue with minor injuries that did not appear life-threatening, Murphy said. Two other occupants of the pickup, a man and a teenage boy, were uninjured.
The Guardsmen involved in the accident, as well as a woman and her dog who were in the Pontiac, were also unharmed.
Both the Pontiac and the Ford had to be towed from the scene. The segment of roadway where the accident occurred was temporarily blocked off, with only a handful of cars being allowed through at a time.
The bookshelf at the root of the mess was also pulled out of the roadway.
Members of the Utah National Guard were sent to the Hildale area Wednesday to aid with recovery and cleanup efforts in the wake of devastating flash flooding that left 12 town residents dead and a 6-year-old boy still missing.
No citations were issued at the time of the accident, Murphy said, though citations may yet be issued depending on the outcome of an investigation into the accident.
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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