Driver says brakes failed before 3-vehicle crash in downtown St. George

A minivan rests against a rock following a crash at the intersection of 300 South and 200 East in St. George, Utah, June 1, 2018 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A driver told police her brakes went out before she crashed into two nearby vehicles in downtown St. George Friday.

A Subaru is prepared to be towed away following a crash at the intersection of 300 South and 200 East in St. George, Utah, June 1, 2018 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

St. George Police responded to the crash involving a black Subaru, a dark blue minivan and a parked white van at the intersection of 200 East and 300 South at 6:42 p.m.

The driver of the Subaru was proceeding south through the intersection as the woman driving the minivan approached the stop sign at the intersection going west, St. George Police officer Steve Linton said.

“As she approached that stop sign, she stated that her brakes weren’t working in her vehicle,” Linton said of the minivan driver, “which resulted in coming through the sign and hitting the vehicle that was southbound.”

After hitting the Subaru, the minivan jumped the curb and hit the white van, which was parked in a business area. The minivan finally came to rest in a landscaping planter against a large boulder.

A minivan is heavily damaged following a crash at the intersection of 300 South and 200 East in St. George, Utah, June 1, 2018 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

Medical personnel were called to the scene, but only minor injuries were reported, Linton said, noting that two children in the Subaru were properly secured in car seats.

The driver of the minivan was cited for failing to stop at a stop sign, Linton said.

The minivan and Subaru sustained heavy damage and had to be towed away. The white van’s rear bumper sustained minor damaged.

Eastbound traffic through the intersection was blocked as the wreckage was cleared from the scene.

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

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  • tcrider June 2, 2018 at 7:45 am

    its a real smart thing, that Utah is eliminating its mandatory vehicle inspections.

  • Striker4 June 2, 2018 at 9:15 am

    Oh I see you’re blaming the state of Utah for this accident…..

  • comments June 2, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    regarding UT safety inspections: The only part of the brake system they’d check is pad wear and they were supposed to check brake shoe wear for drums, but if that involved removing a wheel, 90% of the time they wouldn’t bother, because $15 made in 5 mins is a lot nicer than $15 made in 20 mins. Tires and brakes are critical. For you folks trying to play it cheap on either of those, by driving on bad tires or a brake system showing signs of failure, I’d encourage you to change your ways immediately. It’s a shame the state safety inspections ended up being such a corrupt and ineffective system, because it isn’t a bad idea. Turning it over to be implemented by private auto shops corrupted it, and they used it as a marketing gimmick. Inspections were extremely inconsistent from shop to shop. It needed to be done with stations that had no interest in the auto repair business.

    • comments June 2, 2018 at 12:16 pm

      I should add a bit here. I’m not 100% sure what the mandate required w/ the safety inspections as far as how thorough a brake check needed to be. I know that 95% of shops would blow thru it and pencil whip it and make their $15 as fast as possible. I once saw a copy of the UT safety inspection manual and it was quite a thick book with quite a few details on how each part of the insp should be performed–I’d say it was a thick as a textbook. The fact is: it was a massive failure in how the program was implemented.

  • LunchboxHero June 2, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    The brakes work better when you stop texting and apply them.

  • Kilroywashere June 2, 2018 at 5:58 pm

    Ok, we heard the sticky fingers excuse a week or so ago. Now bad brakes. Gee, let’s see, how old is the vehicle in question Sherlock? Ocam’s razor – driving on CELLPHONE.

    • comments June 2, 2018 at 7:38 pm

      Looks like a Dodge Caravan. If they claim their brakes failed I’m not gonna discount the statement. Another recent one was a Saturn. These are vehicles with reputations for extremely poor build quality.

      • mesaman June 2, 2018 at 9:05 pm

        Honest, your honor, that’s what happened. I pushed my feet to the floor and someone had moved the brake pedal and I crashed. So you see? It wasn’t my fault it was that pesky gremlin who moved the brake pedal.

        • comments June 2, 2018 at 10:30 pm

          there’s enough left of that van they could easily prove one way or another if the brake system failed.

  • mmsandie June 3, 2018 at 8:58 am

    I agree Safety inspections should come back. Especially where so many foreigners of lower or no income do not take care of older cars.. when you go to have an oil change , most places have a 50 pt. Checklist and do Che k brakes, you can also tell by your mileage records and services.. it’s like checking tires.. you know how many miles you drive on can also tell how brakes are failing too.. with so many older people mov8ng in town and tourists renting cars from other countries.. you have to drive defensive or avoid certain streets in town..

    • comments June 3, 2018 at 1:31 pm

      in a way, I agree that it is needed. The program could’ve been a good, effective program. I’ll say it again, like a broken record, a program like this cannot be entrusted to private auto shops in the car repair business. It’s such a blatant conflict of interest it’s ridiculous. And it could’ve been structured in such a way that the program paid for itself.

  • Mike P June 3, 2018 at 10:31 am

    O.K., here’s my open offer. I’ll bet you $20 that the brakes on that mini van miraculously worked just fine immediately after the accident. “I don’t know officer, they worked just fine before”. Yeah, yeah, yeah, heard this one before……….

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