Collision on Red Hills Parkway results in injury

Traffic backs up as responders tend to two-vehicle crash triggered by a driver that failed to yield on Red Hills Parkway Wednesday, St. George, Utah, July 19, 2017 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

ST. GEORGE —A crash on Red Hills Parkway triggered an arrest and serious injury after a driver suspected of DUI crossed paths with an SUV Wednesday evening.

Shortly after 8 p.m. officers responded to a two-vehicle crash on Red Hills Parkway near the Dixie Overlook Trail involving a green Jeep Grand Cherokee and a tan Chevy Suburban carrying three occupants.

Passenger in tan Chevy Suburban is injured and the vehicle extensively damaged in Wednesday’s crash on Red Hills Parkway, St. George, Utah, July 19, 2017 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

Upon arrival officers found both vehicles extensively damaged near the parking lot to the trail. An elderly passenger in the Suburban was seriously injured in the collision, along with the driver of the Jeep. Both were subsequently transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center by ambulance for evaluation and treatment, St. George Police Lt. Jeff Bahlmann said.

After speaking with witnesses at the scene, officers determined that the Suburban was heading north on Red Hills Parkway and struck the southbound Jeep as it passed directly in front of the vehicle in an attempt to make a left turn into the parking lot.

The Jeep driver, later identified as James Hyrum Paulus of St. George, failed to yield to northbound traffic, Bahlmann said.

“The driver of the Suburban attempted to use some evasive maneuvers but was unable to avoid the collision,” he said.

The impact sent both vehicles spinning across the roadway, causing extensive injury to the front-seat passenger in the Suburban and significant damage to the vehicles.

James Hyrum Paulus, booking photo, Washington County, Utah, July 19, 2017 | Booking photo courtesy of Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Officers spoke to Paulus before he was transported and noted possible signs of impairment, Bahlmann said. An additional police unit and investigators were called in to assist with the investigation.

Paulus was released from the hospital and transported to Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility where he was booked on three charges.

On Thursday, the Washington County Attorney’s Office filed its information with Utah’s 5th District Court bringing three counts against Paulus: A class A misdemeanor for driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs; a class C misdemeanor for open container in a vehicle; and a traffic infraction for failure to yield on a left turn.

Northbound traffic was impacted for approximately 45 minutes as officers diverted two lanes of travel into a single lane while responders tended to the injured and cleared the wreckage from the roadway.

The St. George Police Department, St. George Fire Department and Gold Cross Ambulance responded and tended to the scene.

Paulus made his initial appearance Thursday and remains in jail, according to court and county records.

This report is based on statements from police or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

UPDATED July 20, 9 p.m. to include Paulus booking photo and revised identification of charges per court documents filed Thursday, including a reduction from felony to misdemeanor for the DUI charge from the original felony charge listed in the probable cause statement supporting the arrest.

Ed. CORRECTIONS  July 20 and 25: References to the person arrested, James Hyrum Paulus, that incorrectly identified him as “Paulsen” have been corrected throughout the story. Although the story indicated an assist was requested from a police K-9 unit, it was the police officer who was involved in the investigation not the K-9. The officer interviewed first identified as Zach Bahlmann was St. George Police Lt. Jeff Bahlmann and the report is so corrected.

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




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  • Caveat_Emptor July 20, 2017 at 3:58 pm

    Perhaps for the record we could clarify what the Jeep driver’s name is, and make sure the article reflects his correct name, when referenced.
    Good reporting and photo support.

    • Joyce Kuzmanic July 20, 2017 at 8:50 pm

      Thank you, Caveat_E – arrest records indicate his name is James Hyrum Paulus and the story is corrected now throughout.

      Cody and I both appreciate the input,

      Joyce Kuzmanic
      Editor in Chief

  • ScanMeister July 20, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    This was a bit confusing due to Paulus vs Paulsen in the News piece. Paulus is the correct name. Auto-Correct may have struck again.

    • Joyce Kuzmanic July 20, 2017 at 8:53 pm

      Yes, understandably so, ScanM – Arrest records indicate his name is James Hyrum Paulus and the story is corrected now throughout. Thank you!

      Joyce Kuzmanic
      Editor in Chief

  • knobe July 21, 2017 at 8:51 am

    The most effective solution is really prevention which would be an interlocking device on all ignitions .
    Easy to use for sober people and a roadblock until the drunk sobers up .
    Altho . . . they could sucker someone else into starting it but
    then they should be held liable if the drunk is in an accident .

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