Police: Car bursts into flames after 3-vehicle crash involving DUI on I-15

ST. GEORGE — Three drivers escaped serious injury and one was cited for DUI after a crash involving a vehicle fire on Interstate 15 near Littlefield, Arizona, early Friday morning.

A semitractor-trailer lies on the side of southbound Interstate 15 after being struck by an SUV near Littlefield, Ariz., July 12, 2019 | Photo courtesy of the Arizona Highway Patrol, St. George News

Shortly before midnight, troopers responded to the three-vehicle crash that started on northbound I-15 near Exit 9 involving a silver Chevrolet Trax, a purple Jeep and a semitractor-trailer, trooper John Rogers of the Arizona Department of Public Safety said.

Authorities arrived to find wreckage on both sides of the interstate. Responders from Beaver Dam/Littlefield Fire and Rescue were first on scene and extinguished a fire burning in the Chevrolet within minutes. The semi was overturned off the right southbound shoulder down a small embankment several yards from the roadway.

All three drivers involved in the crash sustained minor injuries and declined transport to the hospital after being checked by medical personnel, Rogers said.

At the time of the crash, the Chevrolet was heading north on I-15 in the outside lane adjacent to the median when it rear-ended the Jeep, Rogers said. The impact caused the Chevrolet to crash through a chain-link fence before crossing the median into oncoming traffic.

A Chevrolet SUV is destroyed after catching fire on southbound Interstate 15 near Littlefield, Ariz., July 12, 2019 | Photo courtesy of the Arizona Department of Public Safety, St. George News

Meanwhile, as the semi was southbound, it was struck on the driver’s side front axle by the Chevrolet. The SUV was then pushed into the guardrail where it burst into flames. The driver managed to exit the vehicle in time to avoid being burned.

The impact with the SUV sent the semi careening to the right before rolling and coming to rest on its side.

“There is a little drop-off there where the semi crashed through the guardrail, which caused it to roll after hitting that soft shoulder,” Rogers said.

Troopers found the Jeep on the northbound side of the interstate with rear-end damage. The Chevrolet was completely destroyed by the fire, and the semi was extensively damaged.

The man in the Chevrolet, a student at Dixie State University, “appeared to be pretty impaired when we talked to him,” Rogers said. He was cited for DUI but may face additional charges when the case is reviewed by the Mohave County Attorney’s Office.

This report is based on statements from police or other 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.


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