The ‘trap’ lures 2 Hondas into collision on River Road

A two-vehicle crash on River Road during heavy traffic ties up traffic and sends two Hondas to the tow yard, St. George, Utah, Nov. 3, 2017 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A two-vehicle crash on River Road during abnormally heavy traffic that left two drivers uninjured and two severely damaged vehicles was caused by what officers call the “trap.”

At 12:30 p.m. officers and emergency personnel were dispatched to a two-vehicle crash at 335 River Road involving a gray Honda Accord and a silver Honda four-door passenger car.

Gray Honda on the tow truck after it is struck while making a left-hand turn on River Road, St. George, Utah, Nov. 3, 2017 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

Officers found the vehicles blocking northbound traffic with two drivers outside of their vehicles and reporting no injuries, St. George Police Officer Dave McDaniel said.

After speaking with the drivers and witnesses at the scene, officers determined that the silver Honda was heading north on River Road in the outside lane while the gray southbound Honda entered the center lane intent on turning left into the shopping center parking lot.

Meanwhile, traffic on both sides of the street began backing up and was completely stopped in two of the northbound lanes, while traffic continued moving in the outside lane closest to the parking lot, the officer said.

“It was extremely heavy traffic for lunchtime here,” McDaniel said.

The gray Honda driver attempted to make a left turn when an open space became available between the cars lined up in the first two lanes but was struck as it crossed into the path of the silver Honda traveling in the outside lane where traffic was moving normally.

Silver Honda is towed after a two-vehicle crash on River Road leaves two drivers uninjured and traffic backed up, St. George, Utah, Nov. 3, 2017 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

“Traffic was stopped in the first two lanes, but in the outside lane was still flowing until she pulled directly out in front of him,” he said.

McDaniel explained that many times drivers will stop to allow a vehicle waiting to turn the space to pass through, without taking into account that other drivers, unaware of the gesture, may not stop, but instead strike the vehicle as it pulls out in front of them.

“We call it the ‘trap,’ which is when people stop and motion you through but can’t see the other lanes and then boom, and that’s what happened here today,” McDaniel said.

Traffic was affected for more than 40 minutes while responders tended to the scene.

The drivers were properly restrained at the time of the crash, and the airbags deployed. Both vehicles sustained extensive damage and were later towed from the scene.

This report is based on statements from police or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

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  • utahdiablo November 3, 2017 at 10:36 pm

    ‘The Trap” is pretty much anywhere along River Road all the way into Washington city, we came from Lowe’s at 2 pm with stupid drivers driving aound us in the right turn lane and almost hitting us in the left as they are all trying to get to the next spot just in front of us only to have to hit their brakes…beyond out of control Police! Start writing some tickets Now!!

  • stevepaint November 4, 2017 at 8:32 am

    I don’t see any traffic speed enforcement by the police on Telegraph street in Washington. The speed limit is 35 and if you do the posted speed, you get run over or tailgated. People are driving 10 + mph over the speed limit. Everyone races past me only to stop at the next stop light. It’s insane.

    • Christine November 7, 2017 at 7:29 am

      It is everywhere. I used to use Snow Canyon Parkway all the time, posted limit is 40, but if you’re not going 50 you’re a hazard! Now I’m using Dixie Downs south for my new job and it is the same thing. No one has any respect for the law or any posted speed limits.

  • Christine November 7, 2017 at 7:28 am

    That’s stupid. Why would you motion someone through without checking the other lane for them?! I have even stopped people from using the gap if I see other cars coming!!!!

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