Electric car rolls 75 feet into ravine near Dixie Rock after brakes fail

ST. GEORGE – The unlucky owner of an electric car, a hybrid, watched his vehicle roll 75 feet into a ravine Wednesday morning after the brake failed to engage.

St. George Police received the call at 9:58 a.m. The owner of the vehicle was parking his car in a lot on the south side of Red Hills Parkway near the Dixie Rock in Pioneer Park, St. George Police Sgt. Craig Harding said. Harding supervises the traffic and accident investigation units as well as the motor squad.

“He indicated that he pushed a button to activate the brakes, stepped out of the vehicle and the brakes weren’t activated and it rolled backwards off of the hill.”

“This is kind of an unusual accident, in the fact that it’s an electric car,” Harding said. “I’m not familiar with them but apparently there’s a button you have to activate the brakes with and that didn’t occur.”

A crane from Ruesch Machine was called to extract the vehicle from the bottom of the steep hillside, St. George Police Sgt. Tyler Cowan said.

No one was injured in the accident although the car was heavily damaged. The driver was cited for failing to secure his vehicle, Cowan said.

It’s not the first time a vehicle has gone off the cliff at that location, Harding said.

“I’ve been a cop for 33 years here and we’ve had several cars and motorcycles go off of this very embankment in this very spot,” Harding said. Concrete barriers were installed because of the accidents, but were removed when the new parking lot was built.

“It didn’t used to be a parking lot, it used to be Jersey barriers here because we had people going off of this cliff.”

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

St. George News reporter Don Gilman contributed to this report.

Ed. note: The electric car referred to in this report is a hybrid.

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Twitter: @STGnews

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

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  • RealMcCoy March 23, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    BaseCo….their parking lot is found at the base of that ravine.
    BaseCo…. Concrete solutions at rock bottom pricing.
    Baseco… Foundation solutions- We get to the bottom of things!
    BaseCo… Car for sale. Cheap. Some cosmetic damage. Should buff out.

  • .... March 23, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    RealMcStupid. still stuck in his mommies basement

    Don’t quit your day job. you stink as a comedian.


    • RealMcCoy March 25, 2016 at 10:03 am

      dot boy…. still searching for words …..
      dot boy… a face only a hagfish could love
      dot boy… always tired, always yawning, always boring us with the same comments
      dot boy… easily trolled
      dot boy… fanatically searches for my comments
      dot boy… stalker?

  • backroadswest March 23, 2016 at 8:22 pm

    It’s a Toyota Prius. Not the first one in St. George. It’s a “HYBRID.” Why are we saying it’s “an Electric Car?” The Prius has the same systems as any vehicle. Place the transmission in PARK, apply the E-Brake. No issue here. The repetition of “an Electric Car” seems to imply something other than what this situation really is. Sorry, I expect better reporting from SGNews.

    • Joyce Kuzmanic March 24, 2016 at 1:06 pm

      No argument there, BRW, it is a hybrid and I’m glad to insert that as an additional characterization in the story. These cars are casually referred to as electric cars and that is how Sgt. Harding characterized this one.
      I have a story you might enjoy more, though. Although the Prius in this story isn’t the first in St. George, we did do a story in 2012 on the first Nissan Leaf to be delivered to Utah. The owner was an Ivins resident. Interesting how something that was unique at the time is now commonplace. Here’s the link for your reading pleasure:

      Joyce Kuzmanic
      Editor in Chief

  • ladybugavenger March 23, 2016 at 8:50 pm

    A citation??? Didn’t the car owner suffer enough?? Wasn’t this just a mistake? Ohhhh brings me back to baby left in hot car and dies and no citation or charge, nothing! And this person gets a citation and a totaled car and no one died.

    • youcandoit March 24, 2016 at 10:15 am

      I agree it doesn’t make any sense, my son is mentally handicapped and people take advantage of him he got into trouble he thought he was helping anyway his attorney told me the cops write whatever they want in their reports.

    • RealMcCoy March 25, 2016 at 9:59 am

      Yes but the investigator of the cooked baby incident was told by his bishop and higher ups to let it go.
      It would have been nice to see real journalism investigate that story.

  • Bubbasheepherder March 24, 2016 at 8:33 am

    You are an idiot ladybugavenger. My sheep are smarter than you.

    • ladybugavenger March 24, 2016 at 9:16 pm

      You must be Mormon and you have Mormon sheep too.

  • IDIOT COMMENTERS March 24, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    never in my life has a prius been called an “electric car”. LOL’D HARD

  • DB March 24, 2016 at 4:15 pm

    I’ve been a happy Prius owner for ten years. Shutting it down isn’t rocket science. You hit the ‘P’ button and the ‘Start’ button and everything shuts down. If you forget to hit the ‘park’ button the car will automatically go into park when you press the ‘start’ button. If you open the driver’s door without doing anything, the warning sound will go off, just like all modern cars. There’s nothing unusual about a Prius in this regard. Did the car malfunction? Did the driver screw up? Don’t know.

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