Rollover results in serious injuries after driver attempts to pass semi

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ST. GEORGE — A rollover on state Route 89 in Kane County Thursday was triggered when a driver attempting to pass a semitractor-trailer in the opposite lane “failed to see the oncoming vehicle until reaching a point of no return,” Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Todd Royce said.

At approximately 12:15 p.m. emergency personnel were dispatched to a single-vehicle rollover on northbound state Route 89 at mile marker 105 involving a gold Kia SUV carrying four occupants.

Upon arrival officers found the SUV off of the left-hand shoulder of the roadway extensively damaged with four injured occupants.

Two of the occupants were transported by air to Dixie Regional Medical Center in serious condition, Royce said, while two were ground transported to Garfield Memorial Hospital in Panguitch.

According to statements obtained at the scene, the SUV was headed north on SR-89 and nearing mile post 105 when it came up behind the slower moving semi on the two-lane highway.

Seconds after the northbound SUV crossed over into the southbound lane of travel to pass the semi, the driver noticed a southbound vehicle just ahead, and to avoid a head-on collision, he veered to the left which sent the SUV careening off the left shoulder of the roadway, Royce said.

“He was trying to pass the semi, but failed to see the oncoming vehicle until reaching a point of no return, and took evasive action,” Royce said.

Once the SUV left the roadway, it rolled multiple times until it came to rest upside down several feet from the roadway.

Three of the vehicle’s occupants were wearing their seat belt at the time of the crash, while one was unrestrained. The SUV sustained extensive damage and was towed from the scene.

Royce said authorities are looking at possible impairment as contributing to the rollover.

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.

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1 Comment

  • comments August 26, 2017 at 11:48 am

    “failed to see the oncoming vehicle until reaching a point of no return,”

    even passing a long vehicle like a semi, if you fail at attempting to pass there are things you can do (besides run off the L side of the road at high speed). They prob don’t teach it in UT’s open book test. if the driver actually reached “a point of no return” that means it was a near-head-on collision, for which they should lose their license and do jail time.

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