CEDAR CITY – A man authorities said was driving dangerously slow on the freeway was hit from behind early Tuesday morning causing his vehicle to tip over on its side and eventually roll.
The 73-year-old male driver of a 1964 Volkswagen Van was traveling north at about 55 mph without hazard lights when a female driver of a 2011 Subaru Impreza crashed into his vehicle. The crash occurred at around 1:30 a.m. on Interstate 15 at milepost 80.
Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Dan Nielson said the 28-year-old Subaru driver was traveling at normal speeds of 70-75 miles per hour and was unaware of how slow the VW in front of her was going.
Right before impact, she glanced over at her cellphone that was ringing at the time, Nielson said, and when she looked back at the road she was too close to stop.
“She looked up and saw the tail lights of the VW and realized she wasn’t going to be able to avoid hitting him,” Nielson said. “She braked, trying to avoid the crash, but there wasn’t enough time or distance between the two vehicles and she hit him.”
The rear wheels of the VW then slid to the right causing the vehicle to slide in and out of both lanes of traffic. At one point, the vehicle tipped over on the passenger’s side after the wheels hit the right shoulder of the road and the driver overcorrected, Nielson said.
The VW then began sliding on its side from east to west on the interstate. The corner of the vehicle hit dirt and gravel on the west shoulder causing it to roll to the east side of the road where it finally came to rest on its roof.
The VW had both the driver and a passenger while the Subaru driver was alone.
There were no major injuries reported and the VW parties refused medical entirely while the Subaru driver who reported chest pains was checked out and released on scene.
“The chest pains were likely caused by the seat belt,” Nielson said.
Both drivers received written warnings.
This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement and may not contain the full scope of findings.
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