ST. GEORGE — High winds wreaked havoc on Interstate 15 near Cedar City Wednesday afternoon as semitractor-trailers were blown over. One incident temporary blocked holiday traffic while another sent a man to a nearby hospital in serious condition.
According to the Utah Highway Patrol, a semi was blown over by a blast of wind around 1:40 p.m. in the area of milepost 61 on southbound I-15. This resulted in both travel lanes being temporarily blocked.
“High-profile vehicles beware: some serious winds throughout our state right now,” The UHP posted on Twitter along with a photo of the semi on its side, stretched across both southbound lanes.
Another vehicle crash was reported in the area of milepost 75 around 1:50 p.m.
The area saw a second semi blown over around 2 p.m., this time occurring at milepost 68 on southbound I-15. Winds at the time were blowing hard with gusts over 50 mph, according to UHP.
At the time, the driver of a pickup truck pulled over into the emergency lane to secure some items in the pickup’s bed when an unloaded semi was passing by.
A wind blast hit the semi and put it on its side, which resulted in it colliding with the pickup truck driver who was still outside of his vehicle at the time.
“The driver of the pickup sustained serious injuries and was transported to the hospital,” UHP stated in a text to St. George News.
Traffic through the area was reduced to a single lane as responders dealt with the scene.
UHP and other law agencies have been dealing with multiple traffic incidents across the state due to a widespread winter storm.
The Summit County Sheriff’s Office urged motorists to slow down and move over when seeing law enforcement and other emergency personnel on the side of the roadway. The Sheriff’s Office posted over social media earlier in the day that a deputy had responded to a crash on US 40 where a driver going too fast for conditions on bald tires and crashed into a UHP cruiser.
No one was harmed in the incident.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case in Box Elder County where a crash ended in a fatality.
Around 11:15 a.m., the driver of a 2014 Ford Fusion was traveling on northbound I-15 around milepost 358 – north of the Willard Bay State Park exit. Before reaching the port of entry at the state border, the driver lost control of the car and slid off the road, down a steep incline and into a large cement sign base, impacting the driver’s side door of the vehicle
The driver was killed instantly, according to the UHP.
A passenger initially reported to be in serious condition was taken to an area hospital and was upgraded to “good” condition with minor injuries following a medical evaluation.
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