Failure to stop leads to 2 wrecked vehicles, multiple injuries and 1 scared kitty

ST. GEORGE —  A momentary lapse of focus caused a driver to blow through a stop sign Friday morning, violently slamming into another car causing a rollover in downtown St. George, according to police.

Scene of a two-vehicle rollover accident in downtown St. George, Utah, April 3, 2020 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

At around 11:30 a.m., a female driver, her female passenger and a little kitten were traveling west on 300 South in a four-door Dodge passenger car, when, for an unknown reason, the driver became distracted and failed to stop at the stop sign on 200 East.

At the same moment, an elderly female driver and her two male passengers were headed south in a silver Honda crossover toward the temple. The Honda was struck by the Dodge, pushing it sideways and causing the vehicle to roll onto its roof, finally coming to rest straddling the sidewalk.

St. George Police Officer Tiffany Atkin told St. George News that multiple officers responded to the scene to assist, along with first responders from the St. George Fire Department and one officer from Animal Control.

The extent of the driver’s injuries were unknown, but Atkin said that she was hanging upside down for about 10-15 minutes while waiting to be extricated. She and one of her passengers had to be transported from the scene to Dixie Regional Medical Center by emergency medical services personnel from Gold Cross Ambulance.

“She had to be cut from her seatbelt,” Atkin said.

The driver of the Dodge and her female passenger denied medical attention. She was cited for failure to stop at a stop sign. Her vehicle sustained significant damage to its front end and both vehicles had to be towed from the intersection.

While it was undoubtedly startled, Atkin said the kitten came through the incident unscathed.

According to some of the surrounding neighbors, the intersection is notorious for people becoming distracted and missing the stop sign entirely.

Scene of a two-vehicle rollover accident in downtown St. George, Utah, April 3, 2020 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

“They say that they see multiple people run the stop sign at this intersection every day,” Atkin said.

A St. George Police mountain bike patrol officer who was nearby witnessed the accident and was the first to call it in to dispatch. Atkin said that thankfully he wasn’t crossing through the intersection at the same time, otherwise, this could have been an even more tragic situation.

Atkin advises everyone to focus on their driving, pay attention to what is going on around them and not let anything become distracting when behind the wheel.

“This driver could have hit a cyclist or a pedestrian,” she said. “You’ve got to be careful. Focus on the driving and not what is going on in your car.”

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