Southbound I-15 reopens after sudden hail storm causes multiple crashes between Cedar City, Beaver

Several semitractor-trailers were involved in an accident during a hailstorm that shut down southbound lanes on Interstate 15 about one mile south of the Beaver County line, Thursday, April 28, 2016 | Photo courtesy Cameron Foremaster, St. George News

SOUTHERN UTAH — Traffic is flowing once again after a sudden hail storm one mile south of Beaver County Thursday caused several accidents, delaying Interstate 15 traffic from milepost 95 to 100, authorities said.

A hail storm resulted in a semitrailer collision along southbound Interstate 15, Beaver County, Utah, April 28, 2016 | Photo courtesy of Tamara Reynolds, St. George News
A hail storm resulted in a semitrailer collision along southbound Interstate 15, Beaver County, Utah, April 28, 2016 | Photo courtesy of Tamara Reynolds, St. George News

Traffic on the north side of the Interstate was limited to one lane while southbound traffic was entirely blocked and rerouted off exit 99, said Utah Highway Patrol Lt. Steve Esplin.

Three semitrailers jack-knifed in the median and across both Interstates and had to be removed before traffic could resume. Several secondary accidents also occurred at the same time, involving slide-offs and vehicles trying to avoid hitting the semitrailers, Esplin added. Drivers were delayed while cleanup occurred.

Esplin said about 8 or 9 vehicles were involved in the incident, along with the three semitrailers.

“We have tow trucks coming from Beaver so traffic will be stopped and delayed for about an hour to an hour and a half while we wrench those trucks back on the highway and get the cars cleaned up,” he said. “We also have snow plows already headed out to haul off the hail and snow on the roads.”

No major injuries have been reported. However, there are some people being transported to the hospital for precautionary measures, Esplin said.

“There is one person who just had surgery and is complaining of back pain so they’re going to the hospital, and then there are a couple of others I believe who may be transported for some minor injuries but all precautionary. There have been no major injuries,” he said.

Drivers need to slow down and be prepared to stop if necessary, Iron County Sheriff Mark Gower said. He cautioned drivers to pay attention so that more secondary accidents do not occur.

“People need to pay attention, be ready to stop and slow down,” Gower said. “When accidents like this occur, there’s secondary accidents that result because drivers aren’t paying attention.”

Esplin echoed Gower’s sentiments asking that drivers please be careful while driving through the area for the next couple of hours.

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Email: tsullivan@stgnews.com

Twitter: @tracie_sullivan

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

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