Adverse weather conditions lead to multiple accidents along I-15

ST. GEORGE — Friday the 13th began with a string of bad luck for drivers along Interstate 15 throughout Southern Utah as inclement weather led to multiple accidents from St. George to Cove Fort.

Beginning around 9 a.m., a series of crashes occurred as a result of adverse weather conditions from a slow-moving storm sweeping across Southern Utah. Within the span of two hours, almost a dozen crashes occurred in the region. According to Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Joe Pastor, many drivers didn’t adjust for the dangerous and slippery conditions.

At around 9 a.m., Pastor responded to the scene of a crash on I-15 at milepost 31 involving a Honda Accord and a semitractor-trailer.

He told St. George News a gold Honda Accord was traveling south on I-15 near mile marker 31 when the driver lost control of the vehicle on the wet highway and subsequently rear-ended a semi. The collision caused the Honda to spin out, rolling into the center median and striking a cable barrier. The vehicle sustained heavy damage to the front end, but no injuries reported by its only occupant.

“Speed and weather were factors,” Pastor said.

The driver denied medical treatment and was issued a citation for failing to maintain a lane of travel.

A few hours later, Pastor arrived at the scene of a rollover at milepost 33 on I-15 at about 12:30 p.m. involving a 2003 Chevy Cavalier. Again, the driver was traveling too fast for the dangerous road conditions.

In a vehicle with bald tires, the driver lost control on the wet road, spun into median and ended up taking out several feet of the cable barrier designed to keep vehicles from crossing the highway and crashing into traffic on the other side.

“It overturned, ending up on the driver’s side,” he said.

One male driver, 37, was extricated by first responders from the fire department and transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center with minor injuries. His 9-year-old passenger sustained no injuries but was also transported from the scene with his father.

“Both occupants were wearing seat belts properly,” he said.

Utah Incident Management and a deputy from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene of another crash near mile marker 8 where a bystander stopped to render aid to a male driver that had slammed his vehicle into the center barrier.

The car spun out and ended up facing the opposite direction, with shattered parts from its front end spread across 100 feet of the emergency vehicle lane. The vehicle had to be towed from the scene.

Another rollover occurred at 2:30 p.m. at mile marker 38, where troopers discovered a single vehicle had crashed with a male and female inside. Medical units responded to the scene, but the occupants refused to be transported.

With more bad weather expected across the state throughout the weekend, Pastor advises drivers to prepare well in advance of their travel so they have plenty of time to make sure everything with their vehicle is in order.

“Increase your following distance, reduce your speed, wear your seat belt and make sure your tires and all other mechanical equipment are in good, operable condition,” he said.

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