Passenger killed when pickup lands on top of Volkswagen on I-15 north of Mesquite

Volkswagen Beetle was destroyed when it was struck by Nissan Titan in crash on northbound Interstate 15 north of Mesquite, Nevada, in Mohave County, Ariz., May 13, 2020 | Submitted photo, St. George News

ST. GEORGE —Emergency personnel from multiple agencies responded to a crash Wednesday afternoon on Interstate 15 just north of Mesquite, Nevada, that left one young woman dead, caused significant injuries to others and destroyed multiple vehicles, bringing northbound traffic to a halt.

Emergency medical crews tend to injured couple in Nissan Titan following crash on northbound Interstate 15 near mile marker 3 north of Mesquite, Nevada, in Mohave County, Ariz., May 13, 2020 | Photo courtesy of Beaver Dam/Littlefield Fire and Rescue, St. George News

Shortly before 4 p.m. MDT, emergency responders were dispatched to a crash involving three vehicles on northbound I-15 approximately 3 miles north of Mesquite, Nevada, in Arizona. Mercy Air and Intermountain Life Flight were also dispatched to the scene due to the severity of the crash.

Arizona Department of Public Safety Trooper Tom Callister told St. George News that responders at the scene found a Volkswagen Beetle with three passengers. The woman in the front seat, who was in her early 20s, was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver and the back-seat passenger reported minor injuries.

Responders also found a couple inside of a red Nissan Titan who were both significantly injured and flown to Dixie Regional Medical Center in serious condition, Callister said.

The two occupants in the third vehicle, a Penske moving truck, reported they were uninjured in the collision.

At the time of the crash, the Nissan was heading south on I-15 when a bird flew in front of the window, Callister said, and “the driver claimed he swerved to avoid hitting the bird.”

The evasive maneuver caused the driver to lose control of the pickup, which veered sharply to the left and crossed the median into oncoming northbound traffic where it struck the moving truck head on.

Penske moving truck is heavily damaged in three-vehicle crash on northbound Interstate 15 near mile marker 3 north of Mesquite, Nevada, in Mohave County, Ariz., May 13, 2020 | Submitted photo, St. George News

The impact launched the Nissan into the air before it crashed down on top of the Volkswagen and  coming to rest a few feet away.

Callister said the passenger who died in the front seat of the Volkswagen was the daughter of the driver, while her boyfriend was sitting in the back.

The pair in the Penske moving truck made it out of the crash without injury, the trooper said, “but that rental truck was literally destroyed,” as was the Nissan and the Volkswagen.

Northbound traffic was closed to allow both helicopters to land and for crews to clear the wreckage. Traffic was then diverted onto the shoulder of the roadway and remained restricted for several hours.

Callister also said the name of the woman killed in the crash is not being released at this time.

This is the second fatal crash since Monday morning, when a five-vehicle collision involving a wrong-way driver in the Virgin River Gorge left one person dead and several significantly injured and closed northbound Interstate 15 for two hours.

During Wednesday’s incident, personnel and officers from the Arizona Highway Patrol, the Arizona Department Of Transportation, Beaver Dam/Littlefield Fire Department and the Mesquite Fire Department along with helicopters from Intermountain Life Flight and Mercy Air responded and tended to the scene.

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

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