Domino effect makes for 4-car crunch

ST. GEORGE — A driver failed to stop for a line of cars waiting for a green light sparking a four-vehicle crash in front of Harmons Neighborhood Grocer on East 700 South in St. George during the chilly morning Friday.

Police and emergency crews responded to the crash near the intersection of South River Road and East 700 South in St. George just before 9 a.m. On arrival they checked all vehicle occupants for injuries before officers began diverting traffic around the large scene.

Blue Toyota Corolla is loaded onto the wrecker after a four-car crash left the vehicle extensively damaged on E. 700 South and S. River Road in St. George Friday, Jan. 27, 2017 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

Officers determined after speaking with witnesses that a white Nissan Rogue was traveling east on East 700 South where traffic was backed up at the intersection of South River Road waiting for the light to turn green, police Sgt. Craig Harding said.

The woman driving the Nissan continued toward the line of stopped vehicles and, for reasons that are still under investigation, was unable to stop in time, Harding said, and struck a blue Toyota Corolla that was then pushed into a white Chevrolet Cruze. The Chevrolet was launched forward into the rear bumper of a gold Toyota Camry that was first in the line of vehicles waiting for the light to change.

The driver indicated to responding officers, Harding said, that as she approached the line of cars she applied her brakes but they failed and she was unable to stop in time to avoid hitting the car directly in front of her.

“We are investigating possible distractions, and we are investigating possible mechanical failure of the vehicle,” he said.

Two of the vehicles sustained minor damage and were driven from the scene, while the Toyota and the Nissan suffered extensive damage and were subsequently towed from the intersection.

“There were slight injuries, no one was transported to the hospital,” the officer said, “just bruises and abrasions.”

St. George Police and Fire departments and Gold Cross Ambulance responded to the scene.

Rear-end collisions in St. George comprise approximately 60-70 percent of all crashes. Drivers are looking down only for a second and once they look back up traffic is stopped, Harding said. With little reaction time these drivers are unable to stop and hit the car directly in front of them.

“Braking for a long distance will alert the drivers behind you with your brake lights that you are braking,” Harding said, “and then they have more of an opportunity to see your brake lights for a longer period of time.”

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

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Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.


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  • mmsandie January 27, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    Once again auto body shops and insurance companies make money.. What was the distraction. Everyone knows where to be e tra careful driving in St. George .. You can almost predict, sunset rd, Dixie dr, 100 south, River re and 700 south..I try and stay off of all of them… How could the brakes be bad on a fairly new car??? They check those things with even an oil change at most places.. Be careful people.. Cars looked like a mess

  • indy-vfr January 27, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    700 S, Bluff St, Sunset . I travel down them all on a daily basis – at the Speed Limit – which means there is always someone 3 inches off my bumper chomping at the bits. It’s really laughable how oblivious STG drivers are to their speed. I’ve seen many crashes on Bluff lately – not surprising when you’re traveling at maybe 60 mph and tailgating!

  • comments January 27, 2017 at 9:10 pm

    spontaneous brake failure? highly unlikely

    • .... January 28, 2017 at 5:53 am

      Oh oh. It seems you know something nobody else does. are you going to let us in on your conspiracy theory ?

      • Henry January 28, 2017 at 9:48 am

        No conspiracy theory; Bob nailed it. The odds for “spontaneous brake failure” on a late model Nissan are a lot less than yet another St George driver texting and not paying attention to traffic.

  • utahdiablo January 27, 2017 at 10:21 pm

    If it were my car that got hit, I’d subpoena her cell phone records through my lawyer….not that she was on her cell or texting, but most people are nowadays….it would be easy to have the auto and cell phone makers install a device that kills all phone use unless the car is in park, but nope…. so keep on Cap’n Crunching….just not into me unless you want to get sued…

    • .... January 28, 2017 at 5:55 am

      LOL. ! I’m sure you got them running scared now ha ha ha

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