Driver killed in Gorge when loose tire jumps median, crashes into windshield

Emergency personnel respond to I-15 near mile marker 15 where a driver was killed when a tire came loose from a trailer, Virgin River Gorge, Mohave County, Ariz., May 3, 2019 | Photo courtesy of Beaver Dam/Littlefield Fire District, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A motorist was killed after a tire came loose from a flatbed trailer and struck a passenger car on southbound Interstate 15 on Friday.

Emergency personnel respond to I-15 near mile marker 15 where a driver was killed when a tire came loose from a trailer, Virgin River Gorge, Mohave County, Ariz., May 3, 2019 | Photo courtesy of Beaver Dam/Littlefield Fire District, St. George News

Shortly after 12:30 p.m. MDT emergency personnel were dispatched to an area about five miles south of the Cedar Pocket Exit in the Virgin River Gorge. First responders found a 48-year-old Colorado woman who they subsequently pronounced dead, according to Arizona Department of Public Safety Sgt. John Bottoms.

The woman was traveling south on the interstate with her husband, while a pickup truck pulling a flatbed trailer was heading north, Arizona DPS trooper Stephen Hughes said.

One of the tires came loose and shot out from the flatbed trailer, bounced over the median and crashed into the passenger car’s windshield, killing the driver.

From the passenger’s seat, the woman’s husband was able to steer the vehicle to the right where it hit the concrete barrier and came to a stop facing in the opposite direction.

The accident closed the right lane of southbound I-15 in the area for less than an hour before authorities were able to move the vehicle onto the shoulder to continue the investigation.

The couple appeared to be heading for a camping trip.

“Their car was loaded up with camping gear when this happened,” Hughes said.

He continued by saying the woman was driving safely by all accounts.

“This driver did nothing wrong, and seconds before her husband was sitting in the passenger’s seat next to his wife, and in an instant she’s killed. This is truly, truly sad.”

The truck was later spotted by a Utah Highway Patrol trooper who pulled the vehicle over at Exit 8 and began questioning the driver. No arrests have been made.

The investigation is being handled by the Arizona Department of Public Safety. Updates will be included in this story as more information is released.

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

Email: cblowers@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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