Officers look for man involved in a single-vehicle crash, potential drunk driving incident

ST. GEORGE — Officers are searching for the driver of a van that crashed into a light pole on East Riverside Drive early Monday morning.

The silver Chevrolet Express on the sidewalk of East Riverside Drive, St. George, Utah, Aug. 26, 2019 | Photo by Ryann Richardson, St. George News

St. George Police Officer Andy Mickelson told St. George News that first responders received a call at around 7:30 a.m. reporting a silver Chevrolet Express traveling east on East Riverside Drive had left the road, driven onto the sidewalk and struck a light pole.

The force of the collision caused the light pole to fall to the ground, and the vehicle’s airbags were deployed. Mickelson said the driver exited the vehicle and fled the scene on foot.

One witness to the incident, Wayne Ott, was driving behind the van at the time of the crash. Ott said that after the vehicle hit the pole, the driver paused for a moment before putting the van in reverse, catching the base of the light pole and bending it around the van’s frame.

A few witnesses pulled over to help the man, but Ott said before anyone could get to him, the driver fled behind the nearby commercial buildings and into the bushes near the river.

Debris from a single-vehicle crash on East Riverside Drive, St. George, Utah, Aug. 26, 2019 | Photo by Ryann Richardson, St. George News

“He realized he wasn’t going to be able to get the car out,” Ott said, “so he jumped out of his car and ran off.”

Police are looking for a tall, possibly Hispanic man wearing a black hat and shirt with khaki shorts. The age of the individual is unknown, and although the license plates on the van were from Montana, it is unclear if the individual had recently moved to or was visiting the area.

The individual’s reason for fleeing is still unknown at the time of this report; however, Mickelson said there may have been alcohol involved. Upon inspection of the vehicle, he said officers found some open containers of alcohol.

Traffic was minimally affected, with the outside, eastbound lane blocked to allow first responders to assess and clear the scene.

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

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

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