Hit-and-run driver stalls anniversary plans

Frontal damage to a Honda is visible after it was involved in an alleged hit-and-run collision before running off the roadway on St. George Boulevard, St. George, Utah, June 30, 2016 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A Nevada off-duty police officer taking his wife out for a sweet anniversary treat found his dash for dessert interrupted by a hit-and-run driver Thursday evening.

Just after 7 p.m., a crash was reported to the St. George Communications Center involving two vehicles and a possible hit-and-run. As officers arrived on St. George Boulevard just past 1000 East, they found a silver Honda sedan down a 20-foot embankment to the right of the roadway.

Several other vehicles were stopped on the right shoulder of the roadway as well, including a black Infiniti two-door sedan with visible rear end damage.

Witnesses of the incident said the man driving the Honda struck the Infiniti while traveling on North 800 East just as the Infiniti’s driver, James Pendleton, was making a left-hand turn onto St. George Boulevard.

The Honda’s driver allegedly continued on after hitting Pendleton’s car and was observed by several witnesses heading east on St. George Boulevard, Pendleton said.

Pendleton, who works as a police officer with Henderson Police Department, said he was in St. George with his wife celebrating their anniversary, he said.

“We were actually on our way to Nelson’s Frozen Custard when this happened,” he said, “but at least no one was injured.”

Kari Goris, who observed the crash along with her boyfriend, Barry Adams, began following the man driving the Honda as he drove onto the sidewalk, began weaving in his lane and finally saw the car go down an embankment and crash into a chain link fence at the bottom, Adams said.

Pendleton was able to turn his vehicle around after the crash and was following close behind the witnesses before he stopped behind them and waited for police, he said.

Police gave the man driving the Honda a field sobriety test that he allegedly failed and then arrested him for suspected driving under the influence.

The Honda sustained extensive frontal damage from hitting the Infiniti before going down the embankment and crashing into the fence. The vehicle was subsequently impounded and towed from the scene.

The Infiniti was still operational after the collision that left the right bumper damaged, Pendleton said.

Traffic was affected by emergency vehicles tending to the scene.

The St. George police Department, St. George Fire Department and Utah Department of Transportation Incident Management Team 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.

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Twitter: @STGnews

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


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