One wrong tune, two collisions equal morning traffic delays in St. George

ST. GEORGE — St. George Police officers responded to two separate collisions on 3000 East and approximately 2000 South near George Washington Academy and Crimson View Elementary School in St. George Monday that impeded morning traffic.

A red Dodge Ram is towed from the scene of two two-vehicle collisions in the area of 3000 East and 2000 South, St. George, Utah, March 2, 2020 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

In the main collision, the driver of a red Dodge Ram had glanced down at his radio to change the song for his kids, St. George Police Officer Andy Mickelson said. When the driver looked up, traffic had stopped and he was unable to stop his vehicle in time and crashed into a trailer being pulled by a truck.

Both the truck and trailer sustained damage, and the Dodge required a tow. A citation was issued to the driver of the Dodge for careless driving, Mickelson said.

“Careless driving, just so everyone knows, is being distracted by something inside the vehicle that is not related to the operation of the vehicle or driving,” Mickelson said.

For instance, a driver’s blinkers and speedometer are directly related to the operation of the vehicle, but changing the radio station, eating food or talking on the phone are not, he said.

A white trailer sustained damage as the result of a collision in the area of 3000 East and 2000 South in St. George, Utah, March 2, 2020 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

“We just ask people to keep their eyes on the road,” Mickelson said, adding that drivers should not let other influences – passengers, radio stations, food, phones, et cetera – affect what happens on the roadway.

A second, minor collision occurred in the same area, and although Mickelson was unable to confirm which collision happened first, the driver of a black Chrysler Town & Country minivan said that she turned to look at the first collision and hit a red Tesla.

The driver, Kortney Thomas, had recently purchased the Chrysler minivan. Even before she crashed it into the Tesla, it had already been hit in the Costco parking lot, leading her to somewhat jokingly say she bought a cursed vehicle.

Both the Tesla and the Chrysler received only minor scratches as a result of the crash.

The two collisions prompted St. George Police officers to post a traffic warning on social media, asking motorists to avoid the area if possible while the scene was cleared.

Southbound traffic on 3000 East was rerouted at Rasmussen Drive while officers investigated the collisions and a tow truck arrived.

No injuries were reported.

St. George Fire Department personnel also responded to the collisions.

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

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