Sunlight glare on defrosting window triggers rollover in Santa Clara

SANTA CLARA — Four teens on their way to school Friday were diverted after the driver was unable to negotiate a curve on Pioneer Parkway in Santa Clara and instead lost control and rolled off the right shoulder.

Numerous officers and responders tend to the scene where a green Saturn rolled off the right side of Pioneer Parkway into the lava rocks, Santa Clara, Utah, Jan. 27, 2017 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

Just after 8 a.m. emergency crews and officers were dispatched to a reported rollover on Pioneer Parkway just east of Harmons grocery store, Santa Clara Fire Chief Dan Nelson said.

Upon arrival, officers found a green Saturn four-door passenger vehicle off the right side of the road sitting perfectly on its side, with the passenger side facing up.

The driver told officers that as they were driving east on Pioneer Parkway, they approached a hill while the windshield was still defrosting, Nelson said. Just before hitting a curve in the road, the sunlight hit the windshield, and the glare combined with the lingering moisture still on the glass and made it impossible for the driver to see.

The driver couldn’t see the upcoming curve in the road and lost control of the vehicle as it swerved onto the right shoulder, Nelson said. The driver then overcorrected to the left in an attempt to bring the car back onto the roadway, but instead the vehicle rolled one time and came to rest with the driver’s side smashed in between lava rocks located several feet from the roadway.

All four occupants were able to climb out of the vehicle on their own, at which point they called for help.

Once firefighters were on scene, they checked all four teens for injuries, Nelson said. No injuries were reported and all patients refused transport, he said.

The Saturn suffered extensive damage and was pulled upright before it was towed from the roadway. All occupants were wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash, Nelson said.

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



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  • JJODL January 27, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    I hope the driver received a citation for driving with an obstructed windshield. I see many young drivers that don’t take time to clear their windshield. He’s lucky his negligence didn’t cause injury to his passengers and himself.

  • mmsandie January 27, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    I thought you were suppose to clean the front window before your drive..depending on the defroster is stupid.. Maybe they got up too late for school and were in a hurry

  • comments January 27, 2017 at 9:07 pm

    Complete idiots. The youth are our future folks.

    • .... January 28, 2017 at 5:48 am

      Wow I can’t wait to see what kind of a conspiracy theory you come up with on this one

  • utahdiablo January 27, 2017 at 10:13 pm

    A Lesson to us all….but of course I keep my car garaged ….but yes kiddies, get up a bit early and clean your windows, the life you save me be your own or mine…

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