Police: Driver ‘shoots the gap’ straight into oncoming car on Mall Drive

The scene of a crash involving a Dodge minivan and a Ford passenger car on Mall Drive in St. George, Utah, Oct. 25, 2018 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Several people suffered minor injuries following a crash on a busy St. George street Thursday afternoon.

The scene of a crash on Mall Drive in St. George, Utah, Oct. 25, 2018 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

Emergency personnel responded to the crash at 3:50 p.m. on Mall Drive just south of where the road intersects with Red Cliffs Drive involving a multicolored Dodge minivan and a white Ford passenger car.

The minivan was southbound on Mall Drive stopped in the outside lane preparing to turn left toward an adjacent Wells Fargo bank during a period of heavy traffic, St. George Police officer David McDaniel said, adding that the Ford was northbound on the other side of the road in the outside lane approaching the intersection with Red Cliffs Drive.

A small gap between cars formed in the northbound traffic, McDaniel said, explaining that the driver of the van took that as his opportunity to make the left turn.

“The van shot the gap through where everybody was stopped and hit the side of the Ford,” McDaniel said.

After the vehicles collided, 911 dispatchers received a call of possible injury at the scene of the crash. Responding medical personnel from Gold Cross Ambulance arrived on scene shortly after the crash to evaluate those involved, but nobody required hospitalization.

A paramedic checks on occupants of a Dodge minivan after a crash on Mall Drive in St. George, Utah, Oct. 25, 2018 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

“There were minor injuries to the occupants of the Ford from the airbags exploding – they’ve got some contusions and scraping,” McDaniel said. “And minor injuries to the driver and passenger of the Dodge.”

“Dodge driver’s going to receive at least a citation for failure to yield on a left turn,” McDaniel said, noting that additional citations may be possible.

The driver of the Dodge told police he didn’t see the Ford before making the left turn, which McDaniel said was corroborated by witnesses.

Making a left turn at that particular spot on Mall Drive is not advised, McDaniel said.

“I usually suggest people go down and make a U-turn and come back up because trying to turn across three lanes of travel with all of them turning in different directions is kind of tricky,” he explained.

While no one was injured, the damaged cars remained in the middle of the road for around 40 minutes as emergency personnel worked to clear the crash, causing a minor slowdown for northbound traffic behind it.

The Dodge sustained some front-end damage but was still drivable. The Ford was disabled in the crash after its airbags deployed, requiring it to be towed away.

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

Email: jwitham@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

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

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7 Comments

  • Law24 October 25, 2018 at 8:41 pm

    I was at this intersection not 3 minutes prior to this accident and watched 3 other vehicles do the exact same thing. The fault lies both with driver’s “jumping the gap” and with driver’s in the inside lane allowing enough space for vehicles to get through without checking for traffic in the outside lane. People need to stop thinking they can turn left into that Wells Fargo from Mall Dr. There is simply too much traffic there. It’s much more simple for people to continue going East on Red Cliffs and enter that parking lot from the North.

    • Mjohnson October 25, 2018 at 9:40 pm

      There is not an entrance to Wells Fargo from Red Cliffs Dr. The one and only entrance is the one on Mall Dr.

  • Real Life October 25, 2018 at 9:22 pm

    Looks like that van has shot one too many gaps.

  • DRT October 25, 2018 at 9:26 pm

    Perhaps the city should build a divider between northbound and southbound lanes at that location.

  • LunchboxHero October 26, 2018 at 7:53 am

    “Dodge driver’s going to receive at least a citation for failure to yield on a left turn,” McDaniel said, noting that additional citations may be possible” Nice! Not just ONE citation, but ADDITIONAL ones may be “possible”. That’ll teach ’em! Citations for everyone!

  • DRT October 26, 2018 at 11:07 am

    Dodge driver needs a ticket for driving an “UGLY CAR!”

  • KR567 October 26, 2018 at 11:27 am

    Nothing new there. its buisness as usual they do it all day long

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