Failing to yield leads to another crash on Sunset

ST. GEORGE – Two cars collided in a busy intersection Saturday evening when a driver failed to yield to an oncoming truck before making a left-hand turn; the second leading cause of crashes in Utah strikes again.

The Ford F-150 sustained frontal damage during the crash, while the Mazda Miata was extensively damaged after a collision caused when a driver failed to yield on West Sunset Boulevard Saturday, St. George, Utah, Nov. 26, 2016 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News
The Ford F-150 sustained frontal damage during the crash, while the Mazda Miata was extensively damaged after a collision caused when a driver failed to yield on West Sunset Boulevard Saturday, St. George, Utah, Nov. 26, 2016 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

At 8:30 p.m. officers and emergency personnel were dispatched to the two-vehicle crash in the intersection of West Sunset Boulevard and Westridge Drive.

Once officers arrived they found two vehicles, a dark Mazda Miata and a black Ford F-150, blocking both eastbound lanes of Sunset Boulevard, St. George Police officer Colby Carter said.

See video in media player top of this report.

After speaking with the drivers, officers determined that the Mazda traveling east on Sunset Boulevard was struck as it passed directly into the path of the westbound Ford while making a left-hand turn onto Westridge Drive.

Carter also said that the man driving the Ford swerved in an attempt to avoid the collision, but the Mazda made the turn too quickly and he ran out of time.

The force of the impact sent the Mazda spinning in the middle of the roadway until it came to rest in the eastbound lane of Sunset Boulevard.

Minor injuries were reported from the crash, however no one involved was transported to the hospital.

The man driving the Mazda will be issued citations in connection with the crash, Carter said, including a citation for failing to yield on a left-hand turn.

The Mazda was significantly damaged in the crash, while the damage to the Ford was confined to the front of the vehicle. The Mazda was rendered inoperable and towed from the intersection, while the Ford was driven from the scene.

The man driving the Ford said he just got his truck back less than one week ago from a body shop after a piece of equipment fell on the hood and smashed it.

Quick facts

In 2014, failing to yield caused more than 9,700 crashes in Utah.

Failing to yield is among the three most common types of crashes in St. George, police Sgt. Craig Harding told St. George News earlier this year.

Failing to yield is the second-leading cause of crashes statewide, contributes to 18 percent of all collisions and 12 percent of all fatal crashes.

Here in the Beehive State, a crash occurs every nine minutes, a person is injured in a crash every 22 minutes and a person dies in a crash every 34 hours, according to a Utah Department of Public Safety 2014 report.

On average, 90 people are killed in motor vehicle accidents nationwide – every single day.

Read more: St. George News “Crashes” series

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


Utah Department of Public Safety Crash Facts

Center for Disease Control – Motor Vehicle Crash Deaths

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to scroll through the gallery.

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Twitter: @STGnews

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

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  • karensg November 27, 2016 at 11:17 am

    I’d label these as “Failure to fix signal light problem leads to another crash”.

    Why any town that professes to welcome visitors would make turning left so hard for them is beyond me.
    Am not saying this particular crash involved visitors.

    Wish the powers that be would take mercy on people
    whose brains grew up on left turn only green lights in left turn only lanes.

  • just saying November 27, 2016 at 11:51 am

    Lets just keep adding more of the flashing yellow arrows! If the city would use the solid green left turn arrow and do away with the flashing yellow it would save people from getting hurt and/or killed. Some will say that people just have to drive more carefully, ok, but in the mean time innocent people are also getting hurt. I would rather wait a for a solid green arrow a little longer that taking the bigger risk of someone turning in front of me. People need to be more patient!

  • CaliGirl November 27, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    No flashing yellow light at this intersection. I too wish they would simply make left turns on green arrow only.

    Ford driver: research “diminished value” and stick it to the careless driver.

  • Rodney N November 27, 2016 at 12:27 pm

    Just an FYI, the flashing left arrow is a gift from UDOT, not the city. Also all of the flashing yellow turn lights I’ve seen only happen on UDOT controlled lights,which happen on State roads, like Sunset. However, if you paid attention the sign affixed next to the light says to YIELD on a flashing arrow, so following signs while driving is something everyone was taught while learning to drive, its even on the written test. People in a hurry or not being able to wait is what leads to most, if not all, non DUI accidents.

    • BIG GUY November 27, 2016 at 6:19 pm

      Flashing yellow left turn signals are being adopted nationwide: St. George and Utah are not alone. Google the term and you’ll find implementation all around the country. Flashing yellow lights allow for significantly better traffic flow: blocking through traffic for solid green left turn arrows lengthens light cycles, adds to traffic congestion and to driver complaints, especially when there are no drivers turning left and through traffic sits idle.

      Some of us are old enough to remember when “right turns on red lights” became legal around the country. Lots of complaining then, too, but would you change that back? I doubt it.

  • indy-vfr November 27, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    It’s far more dangerous making left hand turns when the oncoming traffic is moving 10 to 20 mph over the posted Speed Limit. I travel down Sunset everyday @ 40 mph and I’m passed by virtually every car as though I’m standing still.

  • beacon November 27, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    A dangerous road that needs more police presence and more tickets. Had an elderly lady turn right in front of us at Dixie and Sunset and had to slam on the brakes barely missing her. We had the right of way, were not speeding and she just was in la-la land! I don’t think she even heard our tires as we screeched hard to miss her by inches.

  • Christmas Bob November 27, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    All I read here is a bunch of whining. We should all be thankful how blessed that miata was not to be crushed like a soda can by the f3500 monster truck

  • .... November 27, 2016 at 7:16 pm

    This intersection is one of the reasons why your insurance rates are so high around here

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