Police: Driver suspected of using inhalants crashes into gas pump, causing explosion

Gas pump, shown in center of photo, is ripped from its foundation after it was struck by a vehicle at Maverik – Adventure’s First Stop Friday night, LaVerkin, Utah, May 25, 2018 | Photo courtesy of the LaVerkin Police Department, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A potential disaster was averted when police, fire personnel and bystanders jumped into action after a driver hit a gas pump, causing a fiery explosion before the driver fled the scene, only to be arrested minutes later.

A gas pump is ripped away from its foundation after it was struck by a vehicle at Maverik – Adventure’s First Stop Friday night, LaVerkin, Utah, May 25, 2018 | Photo courtesy of the LaVerkin Police Department, St. George News

Shortly after 8:30 p.m. officers, firefighters and emergency personnel were dispatched to the Maverik – Adventure’s First Stop – convenience store at 460 N. State Street in LaVerkin after a 911 call reported that a vehicle was on fire in the parking lot, LaVerkin Police Sgt. Amber Crouse said.

Two off-duty police officers in the area heard what sounded like an explosion and observed a large object in the parking lot fully engulfed in flames, Crouse said.

The station’s gas pump fixture had been struck by a vehicle and was subsequently ripped from its foundation and dragged to the middle of the parking lot.

Several witnesses also observed flames coming from a vehicle that appeared to be fleeing the scene, leading police to believe that the flames may have come from the fumes released as the vehicle struck the pump.

After the flames around the car went out within seconds, one of the witnesses was able to follow the fleeing car while updating emergency dispatch with the vehicle’s current location – information that was sent to officers throughout the area.

Less than 10 minutes later, the vehicle was stopped by an officer from the Springdale Department of Public Safety.

Gas pump at Maverik – Adventure’s First Stop lies in the parking lot Saturday after it was ripped away by a vehicle whose driver allegedly fled the scene Friday night, LaVerkin, Utah, May 26, 2018 | Photo courtesy of the LaVerkin Police Department, St. George News

Police said they had reason to suspect that the car’s occupants were under the influence of inhalants, and both were detained until additional officers arrived.

The driver, later identified as Stephen Anthony Goddard, was arrested and transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility. He faces one count of criminal mischief exceeding $5,000, a second-degree felony, as well as a class C misdemeanor count of leaving the scene of an accident.

Goddard remains in custody on $5,340 bail.

The passenger received a citation.

“What could have been a very dangerous situation ended without further injury or damage,” Crouse said, “largely due to the cooperation between local law enforcement, fire and rescue and the witnesses at the scene.”

LaVerkin Police officers, Washington County Sheriff’s deputies and personnel from Hurricane Valley Fire and Rescue responded to the scene with additional assistance from the Springdale Department of Public Safety.

This report is based on statements from police or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

Email: cblowers@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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11 Comments

  • John May 26, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    Can’t wait to see the upgrade in stupidity if pot gets legalized! Be careful what you wish for!

    • comments May 26, 2018 at 9:57 pm

      will the chronic dopers be as stupid as the drunkards? the meth heads? the right-wing loons? you? guess we’ll find out?

  • Real Life May 26, 2018 at 7:03 pm

    Dumpster? Is that you?

  • ladybugavenger May 27, 2018 at 7:47 am

    You never really know the level of stupidity until you work retail. Sober people are stupid too! Just sayin’

    Legalize marijuana!

    • ladybugavenger May 27, 2018 at 7:51 am

      I might have to smoke a joint to deal with stupid people lol. Working retail takes any faith you have in humanity and crushes it! The liars, the thieves, the stupidity, the getting yelled at like I make the rules, the 100 different attitudes…..crap! Just pass the doobie

      • comments May 27, 2018 at 12:34 pm

        something about good ol’ walmart tends to attract the dredges of humanity. Maybe apply to costco?

        • ladybugavenger May 27, 2018 at 1:51 pm

          I dont work at Walmart. Retail is retail tho. I work at Lowes

        • ladybugavenger May 27, 2018 at 1:55 pm

          Worked at Washington Walmart for 4 years and 11 months. Lowes for a year and a half. A bunch of entitled idiots come in. LOL. You know, always want something for nothing.

          There are a lot of good customers, it comes in spurts tho. It’s like a thief conspiracy lol.

          • asianspa May 27, 2018 at 6:16 pm

            I am guessing blue is your favorite color? Do you only work at Retail stores with blue as their corporate color? Blue is supposed to be a color of purity and creates a feeling of trust.

          • ladybugavenger May 28, 2018 at 5:29 am

            Lol! It’s funny because the new pick up area is a lighter blue. When I saw it, I said, that’s a Walmart color!

            The reason I work there, is because I spent too much money remodeling my kitchen through them. And I said, I’m going to work here. I need my money back! 😂

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