81-year-old man dies in Washington County rollover

ST. GEORGE — An 81-year-old man suffered fatal injuries Monday after losing control of his truck while towing a dual-axle travel trailer and crashing along Interstate 15 in Washington County.

A man suffered fatal injuries after losing control of his truck while towing a camper trailer and crashing along southbound Interstate 15 near milepost 32, Washington County, Utah, Oct. 9, 2017 | Photo by Kimberly Scott, St. George News

At approximately 11:49 a.m., Edwin L. Smith, of Grover, Wyoming, was traveling on southbound I-15 in a white 2008 Ford F-150 truck when he struck the guardrail near milepost 32, approximately five miles north of Toquerville, according to the Utah Highway Patrol.

The driver corrected to the left and then overcorrected to the right before leaving the roadway and traveling up a dirt embankment, causing the truck to roll onto the driver’s side and the trailer to roll onto its top, Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Jake Hicks said.

As the vehicle rolled, Smith was ejected out the driver’s side window, Hicks said.

The truck ultimately came to rest on its wheels in the right shoulder facing north, officials said, while the camper came to rest on its top, just behind the truck.

“It appears that the driver was not wearing a seatbelt,” Hicks said, adding that Smith came to rest near the truck after he was ejected.

A man suffered fatal injuries after losing control of his truck while towing a camper trailer and crashing along southbound Interstate 15 near milepost 32, Washington County, Utah, Oct. 9, 2017 | Photo by Kimberly Scott, St. George News

Life Flight was dispatched to the scene and a portion of I-15 was closed for approximately 20 minutes for the helicopter to land on the highway, officials said. However, Smith was pronounced dead at the scene and was not transported to the hospital.

Smith was traveling alone, and no other injuries were reported as a result of the crash.

The right lane of travel remained closed for some time as crews worked to clear a large amount of debris scattered across the right shoulder of I-15 when the trailer broke apart during the crash.

Both southbound lanes of travel were open by 3 p.m.

While the cause of the crash remains under investigation, Hicks said wind gusts could have been a contributing factor, noting that “excessive speed, alcohol and drugs do not seem to be a factor in the crash.”

This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement and may not contain the fill scope of findings.

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Email: kscott@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

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

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2 Comments

  • 42214 October 9, 2017 at 9:04 pm

    You’d think an 81 yr old guy would be smart enough to wear a seatbelt. Glad no innocents were hurt due to his malfeasance.

  • utahdiablo October 9, 2017 at 9:37 pm

    Well, one thing for sure is He won’t make that mistake again

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