‘It is a responsibility for them to know not to get behind the wheel’; Low blood sugar results in crash

Single-vehicle crash Wednesday resulted in a St. George man being cited, St. George, Utah, Feb. 19, 2020 | Photo by David Louis, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A St. George man was cited for reckless driving, as well as driving with a denied license, after crashing his vehicle Wednesday on Snow Canyon Parkway near the intersection of Bluff Street.

Emergency personnel responded to the single-vehicle incident at approximately 8:30 a.m. The 45-year-old male driver, who was reportedly suffering from the effects of low blood sugar, drove his truck through a crosswalk occupied with children and a crossing guard, clipped a roadwork sign and spun into a ditch on the side of the parkway.

St. George Police Officer Tiffany Atkin said the driver was not injured but was checked at the scene.

The effects of low blood sugar can not only create driving issues but other dangerous situations as well, Atkin said.

“This is something that does happen,” she said. “Sometimes we will get calls for people who are violent, and we will find out it is a medical issue.”

Atkin, who was an emergency medical technician previous to her position with St. George Police, said this is something they run into often.

“I can’t tell you how often,” she said, “but it does happen.”

Hypoglycemia is the medical term for low blood sugar. It typically occurs as a side effect of medications for diabetes.

“If people are just learning about being a diabetic, this might catch them by surprise, but with someone who already knows, they know what to look for,” Atkin said. “It is a responsibility for them to know not to get behind the wheel. Blood sugar can drop really fast and can cause dramatic changes in behavior.”

Symptoms and warning signs include nervousness, dizziness, trembling, sweating, hunger, weakness, heart palpitations, trouble speaking and trouble concentrating. In severe cases, low blood sugar can lead to a loss of consciousness.

A quick treatment is provided by drinking soft drinks, juice or foods containing sugar.

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

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