Drunk driver flees crash near Pintura, calls 911 to report his car was stolen

The scene of a crash on Interstate 15, April 24, 2020 | Photo courtesy of the Utah Department of Transportation, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Police say a driver fled the scene of an accident and called 911 to report his vehicle stolen after rolling his truck and the trailer it was towing on Interstate 15.

Around 3:30 p.m. Friday afternoon, the truck was in the far right lane of I-15 near Pintura when it veered across two lanes before hitting the center median concrete divider. Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Jake Hicks was the first law enforcement on scene.

“As I arrived, I saw a male run across the freeway to the other side, and I didn’t know what was going on yet,” Hicks said. “The male then jumped over the concrete barrier and was then running east toward those mountains.”

The witnesses told Hicks that the male was the driver of the truck that crashed. Hicks then called in backup from the Washington County Sheriffs Department who set up a perimeter around the crash scene.

About an hour later, right after the crash scene had been cleaned up, the male took his shirt off and flagged down some help a mile from the crash. He then called 911 to report that his car had been stolen.

There was alcohol left on the scene, and when the driver was located he was arrested for driving under the influence and was transported to the hospital with moderate injuries. He was discharged shortly after.

“When he jumped that barrier he then ran to a deer fence, which is quite tall,” Hicks said. “Then, over that deer fence is a steep downhill decline, and I don’t know if he fell down it or somehow managed to get down it, but that’s how we lost him so quickly.”

No other cars were hit as a result of the accident.

“This all could’ve been avoided by simply obeying that one law,” Hicks said.

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

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