Lexus reportedly going 85 mph on Bluff Street slams into truck

Gray GMC pickup truck flipped and came to rest upside-down when truck was struck by vehicle that witnesses said was going 85 mph on S. Bluff Street, St. George, Utah, Dec. 6, 2017 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

Update: Dec. 15 – The driver was cited for reckless driving later that day, and no further citations or charges have been filed at this point, according to police.

ST. GEORGE — Two drivers walked away with minor injuries Wednesday morning after a car traveling at a high rate of speed struck a pickup truck with such force that it flipped it over and tore it apart, leaving a debris field that extended farther than the length of a football field.

Black Lexus strikes GMC truck going an estimated 85 mph, obliterating front end of vehicle that is towed from S. Bluff Street, St. George, Utah, Dec. 6, 2017 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

Shortly after 11 a.m. officers and emergency personnel were dispatched to a rollover near 800 S. Bluff Street involving a black Lexus four-door passenger car and a charcoal gray GMC pickup truck, St. George Police Lt. Jeff Bahlmann said.

Officers found the Lexus blocking the southbound lane of S. Bluff Street while the pickup truck was sitting upside-down more than 50 yards away, with the truck’s rear axle near a concrete culvert 25 feet from where it came to rest.

According to witness statements, the man in the Lexus was speeding, St. George Police Lt. Jeff Bahlmann said, adding that “indications lead us to believe that excessive speed contributed to this accident.”

Seconds after the pickup truck, heading south on Bluff Street, cleared the intersection of 700 South it was struck by the Lexus with such force that it was launched directly into the concrete culvert located on the right-hand shoulder of the roadway, St. George Police Officer Ken Childs said.

The culvert caught the truck’s rear tire, ripping the axle from the truck and sending the pickup into a rollover until it came to rest upside-down approximately 40 feet from where the axle broke apart.

Gray GMC pickup truck flipped and came to rest upside-down after losing its rear axle after being struck by a car on S. Bluff Street, St. George, Utah, Dec. 6, 2017 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

“The collision occurred just south of 700 South, and the Lexus hit the truck with enough force to rip the rear axle off and flip it over to the side,” Childs said, “causing it to roll onto its roof probably 200 feet away while the Lexus continued down the road another 200 feet with the front-end obliterated.”

A 150-yard debris field was left in the wake of the crash that blocked both southbound lanes of Bluff Street until responders were able to clear one lane to allow the long line of cars to move through the crash scene.

Childs went on to say that minutes before the crash occurred a motorist, who was also heading south on Bluff Street, witnessed the Lexus driving at a high rate of speed and called 911 to report the vehicle near the corner of 100 South, he said. The witness, who was driving just over 40 mph at the time of the 911 call, told emergency dispatchers that the Lexus was traveling at 85 mph.

Other witnesses at the scene gave the same speed estimation for the Lexus as well.

Rear axle sitting in middle of sidewalk after it is ripped from GMC pickup truck during two-vehicle crash on S. Bluff Street, St. George, Utah, Dec. 6, 2017 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

Officers were en route to the area to investigate the reported reckless driver when the crash occurred.

The man driving the truck, which was purchased new just the day before, according to his statement to police, sustained minor injuries and was transported to the hospital by family members who arrived shortly after the crash. Both vehicles were destroyed in the collision and were subsequently towed from the scene.

“There were no significant injuries to either driver, and the man driving the Lexus suffered a few cuts, but nothing serious,” Childs said.

The incident is still under investigation at the writing of this report.

“We’re still investigating as to why the passenger car was traveling so fast and we’re exploring all options, checking for impairment to see if that’s a factor or other possible issues,” Bahlmann said.

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

St. George News Reporter Mori Kessler contributed  to this report.

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  • tcrider December 6, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    I wonder why the city of Saint George doesn’t use their resources of cameras at traffic lights at many intersections and
    start doing automated citations for people running lights , stop signs, the hicksters making their black plumes with their
    little diesel trucks, (also known as penis compensators ).
    Other cities with limited resources for law enforcement, or other cities where law enforcement do not wish to be very proactive, prefer to use automated systems that are very efficient and generate excellent revenue for the city.

    • NickDanger December 6, 2017 at 6:57 pm

      I’ve lived in a town with an automated ticket process for major intersections. There’s really nothing quite like getting a ticket in the mail and being so chronologically removed from the incident that you have no memory of it, let alone the capacity to formulate a defense.

      Maybe you aren’t aware of this, TC, but running a red light can be a very delicate matter, frequently defensible in court. For example, most people, and many police officers, don’t even know the law regarding yellow lights. The law states that if the front plane of your car has passed the start of the intersection – defined as the first line of the crosswalk – when the light is still yellow, you are entitled to proceed through the intersection. I’ve been advised by my uncle, who is ex-NYPD and ex-FBI, to always ask an officer where he was located when he saw me run a red light, if I ever get such a ticket, which actually I haven’t except by mail. But if the ticketing officer was behind you, and it was close, he had no clear view of the front plane of your car OR the start of the intersection – a view of both being necessary to determining that you ran the light. I.E., if you defend yourself in court and the officer was behind you, you should get out of the ticket if you defend it thusly.

      Just saying, it’s not the kind of ticket that should so blindly be trusted to a mere mechanical device, and delivered to the alleged offender so long after the incident. Also, the machine could be calibrated incorrectly and you will never be entitled to a demonstration that it isn’t. Be careful what you wish for.

      • tcrider December 6, 2017 at 8:02 pm

        I’m just writing that almost every time I drive in this city I actually see someone running a stop sign or a red light.
        I am guessing that law enforcement does not have the resources to effectively enforce traffic law or maybe they have other priorities like catching drug dealers.
        I would rather have a automated citation program than no traffic law enforcement at all, I am willing to bet after a ticket or two, you would be stopping at yellow lights.

        • ladybugavenger December 7, 2017 at 6:47 am

          They have the resources, it’s just not a high priority, they don’t get to use their armored toys. They like their toys.

  • mmsandie December 6, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    I wondered why people buy Lexus.. trying out fir formula one? Feel bad for the truck driver…wha5would happen if construction had started..where are the. police?..they know Bluff st, Dixie dr , sunset and river rd. Are the worse…set up cameras?..

  • General Seamstress December 6, 2017 at 7:21 pm

    More and more I see these accidents, the less I see value in these vehicles. Come on GMC make something reinforced and strong, I do realize being hit at 65 is incredible, but if it’s American made, let’s make it tough! Especially a truck..

  • ladybugavenger December 6, 2017 at 8:03 pm

    Idiot would of made good time. You should always weigh the costs, it takes more time to get pulled over or get in an accident then it does to drive safe and go the speed limit

  • PlanetU December 6, 2017 at 8:30 pm

    Probably not HIS car. The truck driver deserves a new truck tho. Make this dude go to prison or work his a** off somewhere to buy him one.

  • indy-vfr December 6, 2017 at 10:05 pm

    I suggest that the “driver” of the Lexus sit in jail for awhile and think about his actions.

    • Real Life December 7, 2017 at 10:07 am

      His picture is in the arrest pages. He looks like a real loser. He is free on bail.

      • ladybugavenger December 7, 2017 at 11:17 am

        Heading over to the bookings page ?

      • ladybugavenger December 7, 2017 at 12:12 pm

        I couldnt find him. They all look a little off ?

  • paul December 7, 2017 at 5:44 am

    Ya this could of turned out real bad

  • Not_So_Much December 7, 2017 at 8:48 am

    Last I heard St George was short by 8 officers. This might be the place to start and can be done if the city council stops doing all it’s good & wonderful projects first.

  • LunchboxHero December 7, 2017 at 9:52 am

    I wonder if the Lexus driver is one of those dimwits who “make no apologies” for driving through the Gorge at 80 mph, then try to blame the people who are actually driving at the posted speed limit. The arguments of these speed demons get flimsier and flimsier by the day! (And I am so sorry for the poor guy whose new truck got smashed up by this reckless moron)

  • utahdiablo December 7, 2017 at 3:11 pm

    This will never stop until the city and county add more officers, and this will not happen until something drastic happens like a speeder hiting a bus load of small children and the bus blowing up….you can’t even get speed bumps next to a school zone to slow down these speeders as a speed bump is against the law here in the “sticks”….too bad more have to suffer before anything will happen

  • Chris December 7, 2017 at 6:14 pm

    Incredibly, Bryan Hyde, chief dimwit at St. George News, believes that speed limits should not exist. If he had his way, this type of accident would be a daily occurrence.

  • SteveSGU May 4, 2018 at 1:52 am

    Shame on this reckless driver and on all reckless drivers who put so many innocent people’s lives at risk. He absolutely deserves jail time.

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