Collision on Sunset leads to DUI arrest and hectic accident scene

Accident on W. Sunset Boulevard and N. Bluff Street, St. George, Utah, Mar. 6, 2016| Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Police responded to an accident Saturday night on Sunset Boulevard and found themselves dealing with both a DUI arrest and a wedding party gathered in the median.

Accident on W. Sunset Boulevard at N. Bluff Street, St. George, Utah, Mar. 5, 2016| Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News
Accident on W. Sunset Boulevard at N. Bluff Street, St. George, Utah, Mar. 5, 2016| Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

Just after 8 p.m. emergency personnel responded to a two-car collision near the intersection of  W. Sunset Boulevard and N. Bluff Street. Upon arrival they found a black SUV which had been rear-ended by a green Mercury passenger car in the middle eastbound lane of Sunset Boulevard, St. George Police Sgt. Wade Johnson said.

The accident was triggered by the male driver of the Mercury rear-ending the SUV when the driver failed to stop in time, Johnson said.

As emergency personnel tended to the scene, officers began questioning the driver of the Mercury after  smelling alcohol on him, Johnson said.  He was given a field sobriety test, which he failed.

Several people arrive to support driver of the black SUV after accident on W. Sunset Boulevard at N. Bluff Street, St. George, Utah, Mar. 5, 2016| Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News
Several people arrive to support driver of the black SUV after accident on W. Sunset Boulevard at N. Bluff Street, St. George, Utah, Mar. 5, 2016| Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

The driver of the SUV had been attending a wedding shortly before the accident, and as the driver suspected of DUI was taken into custody, guests from the wedding began to arrive at the scene, Johnson said.

“Mainly to support the man who was just rear-ended in the accident,” Johnson said. “Then, they started to gather in that median, which made it difficult.”

The driver of the SUV sustained minor damage to the rear of his vehicle, and was able to drive it from the scene, Johnson said.

The group from the wedding party dispersed as soon as the driver of the SUV left the scene.

The Mercury was impounded by police as a result of the arrest, but was rendered inoperable after suffering significant front end damage and was towed from the scene, he said.

Man driving Mercury performing Field Sobriety Test after accident on W. Sunset Boulevard and N. Bluff Street, St. George, Utah, Mar. a5, 2016| Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News
Police performing field sobriety test after an accident on W. Sunset Boulevard and N. Bluff Street, St. George, Utah, Mar. 5, 2016| Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

No injuries were reported, and traffic was initially impeded in the center and right lanes, but once the right lane was cleared traffic began to flow again, he said.

The man driving the Mercury was booked into the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility for DUI, and cited for other traffic offenses, Johnson said.

St. George Police Department and the St. George Fire Department responded to the scene.

This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact. 

St. George News Reporter Mori Kessler contributed to this story.

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Email: cblowers@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

 

 

 

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