HURRICANE — A large, chaotic crash scene involving five vehicles on state Route 9 left two people injured Wednesday afternoon.
Shortly after 3 p.m. numerous officers, emergency personnel and two ambulances were dispatched to a multivehicle crash on SR-9 just east of 3400 West, Hurricane Police Sgt. Kurt Yates said.
A two week construction project by Ash Creek Special Services District in the area reduces travel lanes in both directions, causing congestion.
Upon arrival emergency personnel began checking the vehicles and found a 17-year-old driver in a gold Pontiac Grand Am who was injured in the crash.
EMT’s also found a 34-year-old man inside a silver Lexus SUV who reported injuries as well. Both drivers were transported by ambulance to Dixie Regional Medical Center for evaluation and treatment.
“They both had minor injuries in the crash,” Yates said. The teenager driving the Pontiac told officers she was on the phone when she entered the construction zone.
Police also found a green Ford Ranger pickup truck off of the right shoulder of the highway, as well as a silver Buick stopped on the emergency lane. A blue minivan was stopped nearby.
No other injuries were reported from anyone in those vehicles.
As officers questioned drivers and witnesses at the chaotic scene they put the pieces together of how the crash occurred.
“It took us a while to figure out what actually happened out there,” Yates said.
As the Pontiac was heading west on SR-9 the driver didn’t notice that traffic was completely stopped just ahead, the officer said, and once she looked up it was too late to stop in time.
In an attempt to avoid hitting the Lexus the teenage driver swerved sharply into the right-hand lane but struck the rear bumper of the SUV before she was able to clear it.
The Lexus was sent spinning while the Pontiac was struck by a westbound Ford pickup truck as it entered the truck’s lane.
The second impact spun the Pontiac around and into the Buick while the Ford went careening off of the right-hand shoulder of SR-9.
“The Ford hit that Pontiac pretty hard when she entered his lane,” Yates said, “so she spun out and ended up hitting the silver Buick in the process.”
The Mazda minivan was struck by flying debris as the driver drove into the middle of the mayhem, receiving minimal damage.
“There was debris flying all over out there,” Yates said.
All drivers were wearing seat belts at the time of the incident. The Pontiac, Lexus and Ford were heavily damaged and were later towed, while the Mazda and Buick were driven from the scene.
“You look at that gold Grand Am and how severely it was damaged, and the injuries could have been so much worse,” the officer said.
The teen driving the Pontiac will be cited for following too close, Yates said.
Both westbound lanes of traffic were completely blocked for more than 45 minutes, with traffic diverted into one of the eastbound lanes.
The Hurricane Police Department, Utah Highway Patrol, Hurricane Fire and Rescue and the Utah Department of Transportation’s Incident Management Team responded and tended to the large 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.
Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.
Email: [email protected]
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.