Fiery UTV accident kills 2 women

Stock image: A Jeep makes its way up Hells Revenge Trail in Moab, Utah, date unspecified | Photo licensed under Creative Commons CC0, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Two women died over Labor Day weekend in a fiery Utility Task Vehicle accident at the Sand Flats Recreation Area east of Moab.

Just before 4 p.m. Friday, emergency crews responded to the report of a UTV engulfed in flames near the obstacle known as Tip-Over Challenge on the Hell’s Revenge Trail, the Grand County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

A map showing the area of Hell’s Revenge Trail where two women died Sept. 2 in a UTV accident at the Sands Flat Recreation area in Moab, Utah | Photo courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management, St. George News
A map showing the area of Hell’s Revenge Trail where two women died Sept. 2 in a UTV accident at the Sands Flat Recreation area in Moab, Utah | Photo courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management, St. George News

When authorities arrived, they found the UTV – a Polaris Ranger – still fully-engulfed in flames, officials said.

The two occupants inside the Polaris UTV were deceased.

Officials identified the driver of the UTV as 28-year-old Destiny Dixon, of Prescott, Arizona, and the passenger as 51-year-old Debbie Swann, of Apache Junction, Arizona, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Their bodies were transported to the Utah State Medical Examiner’s Office.

The Bureau of Land Management describes the Hell’s Revenge Trail as “a six and one half mile roller coaster ride across the slickrock fins east of the town of Moab. It is extremely difficult, and recommended only for very experienced drivers with advanced equipment.”

Tip-Over Challenge is a brief rock hill with a sandy base that requires tight maneuvering.

The cause of the accident is under investigation.

Grand County Sheriff’s Office, Bureau of Land Management, Grand County Search and Rescue and Moab 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.

Email: kscott@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

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

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12 Comments

  • Brian September 6, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    There is a serious design flaw in Polaris Ranger and RZR products that result in fires after crashes. Those involved die from the fire, not the accident (and it’s a horrible death).

    If you have a Ranger or a RZR please take it in to be fixed for free:
    http://www.polaris.com/en-us/company/news/recalls

    The story of Baylee Hoaldridge, 15, is truly heart-breaking:
    http://fox13now.com/2015/11/16/provo-girl-taken-off-life-support-following-july-4-atv-accident/

    They rent a RZR, roll it over going very slow (5 mph), everyone is fine, then the thing bursts into flames. Everyone gets out OK but Baylee, who couldn’t get her seat belt off. She lived for 4 1/2 months before finally dying. So sad. Her father said, “At night, I’ll never forget the screaming. Ever. Grandpa can’t either.”

    So if you have one, don’t put off getting it fixed.

    • Bob September 6, 2016 at 4:50 pm

      i’ve seen the way polaris machines are engineered and not surprised.

    • Bob September 6, 2016 at 4:51 pm

      wonder if they’re using a plastic fuel tank? hmm

      • Bob September 6, 2016 at 10:18 pm

        plastic injection molded tank very close to the engine compartment and exhaust–some with turbo. all it would take is a tiny few drops leaking to ignite on the exhaust and melt the rest of the tank open where there’s apx 5 gal that would then ignite instantly and would cause a large flame burst and/or explosion. A steel gas tank would be mostly immune from this problem. There’s good reason cars don’t have plastic fuel tanks. I expect polaris will be paying out millions $$$

        • Bob September 6, 2016 at 10:32 pm

          leaking oil from the cyl head area can also flame up on the headers + melt the tank open=same result

          • Bob September 7, 2016 at 11:29 am

            and, from what i read, driving over tall brush or grass that then catches on fire from contacting the header pipes and melts open the tank…then fire. gotta love polaris engineering..

          • Bob September 7, 2016 at 11:34 am

            there are lots of youtube videos of the polaris rzr’s on fire…

          • Bob September 7, 2016 at 11:35 am

            things to look into for those who own one or want one

        • .... September 8, 2016 at 7:09 pm

          Write them a letter Bob. I’m sure they will respond !

  • outsider_100@hotmail.com September 6, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    Just a suggestion that when the investigation is completed, it would be great follow-up to publish those results so your SW Utah readers, who are avid off-road enthusiasts, become aware of the results. Too often we blame the driver, when in some cases there is a flaw in the equipment that led to the fire.

    • Bob September 6, 2016 at 10:36 pm

      no investigation can be done on a burned out machine since basically nothing left of it–write a letter to polaris–i’m sure they’ll be helpful

      • .... September 7, 2016 at 7:50 am

        Nobody would answer a letter from you Bob. ! Lmao !

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