ST. GEORGE – Traffic on southbound Interstate 15 slowed to a crawl Friday afternoon when several bales of hay flew off the back of a trailer and scattered across the roadway south of the Dixie Drive interchange.
Around 2:15 p.m., a woman driving a pickup truck pulling the trailer loaded with hay bales on southbound I-15 began to lose control of the truck. This caused the trailer to fishtail and about 20 or so bales to spill onto the roadway, Utah High Patrol Trooper Grant Hintze said.
“I was driving and the next thing I know there’s a big puff of green and hay everywhere,” St. George resident Kayden Foremaster said. He was on southbound I-15 between mile markers 4 and 5, about a quarter-mile behind the trailer when the bales broke free.
People ahead of Foremaster were slamming on their brakes and swerving around the falling hay that he said spread across the roadway with the exception of the median where traffic began to move through, he said.
While some of the hay spread did spill across the road, the majority dropped the right lane and median, Hintze said.
Once the driver realized she had lost the bales she pulled over and, along with others with her, began to get the bales out of the road as fast as possible, the trooper said.
While passing by, Foremaster said he saw a motorcycle rider stop at the scene to help clear the road.
Units of the Utah Highway Patrol and Utah Department of Transportation arrived soon after and helped direct traffic around the hay spill while also aiding in the hay’s removal.
“Our main concern was clearing the roadway,” Hintze said, adding that the right lane had to be shut down as everyone involved worked to restack the hay and secure it.
As no injuries or damage to vehicles was reported in connection with the hay spill, no citations were issued, Hintze said.
Earlier this month a trailer loaded with hay on state Route 24 in Sevier County tipped and fall onto two passing vehicles, injuring the vehicles’ occupants.
Investigators believe the load of hay in SR-24 incident was not sufficiently secured and lent to the load tipping.
This report is based on statements from police or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.
Ed. note: This story had been udpated with remarks from the Utah Highway Patrol.
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