Elderly driver runs red light, strikes 2 cars before crashing through multiple fences and into house

ST. GEORGE — An elderly man was transported to the hospital after the SUV he was driving reportedly collided with two vehicles, crashed through two fences and then struck a house on Dixie Downs Thursday morning.

Car bumper and other debris left in front yard of residence after an SUV strikes house off of North Dixie Downs, St. George, Utah, Jan. 16, 2020 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

Shortly before noon officers and emergency personnel responded to the 1100 block of North Dixie Downs on what was initially reported as a two-vehicle crash involving a white Saturn Outlook that drove into a house.

As responders made their way to the scene, a second crash was reported on Dixie Downs across from the Lins Market parking lot involving a red Dodge pickup truck that was in the center turn lane, St. George Police Officer Tiffany Atkin said.

As it turned out, there were two crash scenes and both involved the same Saturn.

The incident was set in motion when the Saturn SUV was heading south on Dixie Downs and ran a red light at the intersection of Sunset Boulevard, Atkin said. The SUV then struck the Audi heading west on Sunset before it was able to clear the intersection, which spun the Audi around. The SUV struck the car a second time before both drivers pulled into the parking lot in front of Lins Market and the Audi came to a stop.

N. Dixie Downs facing south where pickup truck was struck stopped in the left-turn lane near Sunset Boulevard, St. George, Utah, Jan. 16, 2020 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

Meanwhile, the Saturn continued through the parking lot and pulled out onto Dixie Downs to head north, where it struck a Dodge pickup truck heading south toward Sunset Boulevard.

The Saturn continued traveling north on Dixie Downs where the SUV veered to the right, jumped the curb and continued through the front yard before it crashed through two fences and struck a residence.

The front of the SUV came to rest against the side of the residence, and to the rear of the SUV was a small shed that was partially blocking the Saturn. But the shed didn’t have a scratch on it, which led police to believe the rear of the SUV was launched over the shed before it crashed to the ground — leaving less than an inch of clearance between the two.

The young woman driving the Audi said she pulled into the parking lot to exchange insurance information, but when the Saturn did not stop, she began following the vehicle.

Atkin said that impairment doesn’t appear to be a factor at this point, adding that the driver may have suffered a medical episode or age-related condition that could explain his behavior. But officers will know more once the investigation is complete.

“We’re leaning toward a medical issue due to possibly age, but we’ll know more later,” Atkin said.

The occupants in the Audi and the Dodge reported they were uninjured in the crash.

Multiple officers, firefighters and emergency personnel tended to the scenes that were more than three blocks apart.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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