NEW HARMONY – An Idaho couple traveling through Southern Utah on an interstate joyride with a group of sports car drivers wrecked their Chevrolet Corvette near New Harmony Thursday afternoon. The driver lost control of the car at a high rate of speed, and the Corvette spun out and smashed into the median guardrail.
The driver of the Corvette was just re-entering southbound Interstate 15 at the on-ramp for Exit 40 when the crash occurred, Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Jake Hicks said.
The car’s back tires bore no tread, Hicks said, and the man driving entered the on-ramp at such a high rate of speed that he lost control and couldn’t regain it.
“So, he comes up and loses it this way,” Hicks said, turning his body in a counterclockwise circle to demonstrate how the driver lost control when he hit the gravel on the median. “And then his passenger side, right here, collided with the guardrail, and that took the brunt of the force.”
The crumpled guardrail was spiraled around itself beside the trooper as he re-enacted the incident; only the broken stumps of wood that once held the guardrail in place remained in their respective holes in the ground.
When dispatch received reports of the accident at 12:39 p.m., it was reported that the woman in the Corvette’s passenger seat was trapped inside the car and was injured. Both New Harmony Fire Department and Gold Cross Ambulance responded to the scene to assist.
The precarious spot in the middle of the interstate where UHP troopers typically sit to observe traffic quickly filled up with both first responders and other travelers who pulled over to assist and check on the occupants of the Corvette.
“They were actually traveling with a group of other exotic cars,” Hicks said. “So, there was Corvettes and Mustangs and that was the other people that pulled over.”
The concerned travelers were asked to leave the scene to ensure their safety and the safety of both first responders on the scene and motorists passing by, Hicks said.
Hicks said he was unsure why the group was getting on the interstate at Exit 40, but it was possible they stopped to visit Kolob Canyons while traveling through the area.
Fire Department responders had to remove the passenger door of the Corvette, and the trapped woman was transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George to be treated for moderate injuries, Hicks said.
The driver rode along with his wife, Hicks said, but he refused treatment at the scene, stating his injuries were minor.
Both the driver and passenger were wearing their seat belts at the time of the accident, Hicks said.
Considering that the Corvette was a T-top Corvette, he said, their seat belts were the only thing that kept them from being ejected.
There were no citations given at the scene, but considering the Corvette’s speed and the condition of the tires, Hicks said, there may be citations issued after investigation into the accident concludes.
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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