WASHINGTON CITY — Two occupants were left without serious injury after their vehicle went spinning across Interstate 15 and crashed head-on into the guardrail Friday afternoon, tying up traffic for more than an hour.
Shortly before 3 p.m., officers and emergency personnel were dispatched to a single-vehicle crash on I-15 northbound near mile marker 12 that involved a red Toyota Scion that crashed into the guardrail.
Officers found the vehicle in the emergency lane to the right of the interstate, severely damaged with multiple feet of damaged guardrail nearby, Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Jake Hicks said.
The investigation into the crash revealed that the driver was heading north in the outside lane and drifted toward the left shoulder, he said.
Once the Toyota ran onto the soft shoulder, the driver hit the brakes and pulled the steering wheel to the right which sent the car spinning across both lanes of traffic and slammed head-on into the guardrail.
The rear of the car swung around and struck the guardrail, which finally stopped the vehicle.
The dual impact took out more than 30 feet of guardrail and pushed the damaged rail 10 feet out from where it was originally secured.
“The driver overcorrected to the right and then he lost his rear end and hit the guardrail just about head-on,” Hicks said, “and then finished rotating so the car spun around and the back hit the guardrail again.”
The driver and his passenger were wearing seat belts and suffered no serious injuries in the crash, however, both were checked by EMS at the scene.
“I think speed may have been a factor in the crash, but it’s not clear how fast he was going when he went off the road,” the trooper said.
Hicks also said that sometimes drivers hit the rumble strips and panic, and if they leave the roadway they respond by pulling the wheel in the opposite direction, but overcorrect, which causes them to lose control of the car.
“We are very fortunate there were no other vehicles, and what saved them was their seat belts,” the trooper said.
Utah State Trooper’s Labor Day travel tips
With the busy holiday travel weekend just ahead, troopers would like to remind drivers to increase the following distance between their vehicle and the car in front of them. This will give them extra time to respond if traffic slows or stops, particularly with the added number of cars traveling during the holiday.
“We are expecting heavy traffic this weekend, so slow down, give yourself some good following distance, wear your seat belt and drive sober – and you’ll make it,” Hicks said.
Additionally, troopers are working extra shifts for DUI enforcement across Utah, which will be heavier throughout the Labor Day weekend, he said.
The Utah Highway Patrol, Washington City Fire Department, Gold Cross Ambulance and the Utah Department of Transportation’s Incident Management Team responded and tended to the scene.
This report is based on statements from police 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.
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.