Passenger transported to hospital after new traffic light system reportedly caused confusion, collision

ST. GEORGE — One person was transported to the hospital Monday afternoon following a collision at the intersection of Washington Parkway and Telegraph Street.

The 2015 Toyota Sienna was towed following the crash at the intersection of Washington Parkway and Telegraph Street, Washington, Utah, July 13, 2020 | Photo by Aspen Stoddard, St. George News

Washington City Police Lt. Kory Klotz told St. George News that just after 4:30 p.m., a female driving a black 2015 Toyota Sienna minivan with one passenger was traveling west in the right lane on Telegraph Street. As the minivan approached the intersection of Washington Parkway, it continued to go through the intersection.

At the same time, the driver of a 2020 white Jeep Wrangler with four occupants was attempting to make a left turn off Washington Parkway to travel east on Telegraph Street.

“Due to the new light system here, the driver of the Jeep said she was confused,” Klotz said. “She pulled into the intersection as the van was coming through it. The van obviously had the right of way.”

The minivan and the Jeep collided in the intersection, front-end to front-end.

The Jeep did have a stop sign, but with the new light system that is not yet functioning, there was some confusion.

The new traffic light system is not yet working at the intersection of Washington Parkway and Telegraph Street, Washington, Utah, July 13, 2020 | Photo by Aspen Stoddard, St. George News

“But it’s still up to the person with the stop sign to make sure they are stopped,” Klotz said.

Hurricane Fire and Rescue, Washington Fire Department and Washington City Police responded to the scene.

The female passenger of the minivan was transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center with minor injuries. (See Ed. note)

The driver of the Jeep was issued a citation for failure to yield to oncoming traffic, Klotz said, adding that the city has put the traffic lights up for this reason.

“People aren’t watching at the intersection,” he said. “This is a dangerous intersection. That’s why the city has paid the money to put the lights here.”

The traffic lights are still a couple weeks from being finished, and Klotz encouraged taking precaution in general at intersections, especially those with lights in various stages of completion.

“If you pull up to an intersection where the lights are flashing or there’s coverings on the light systems, stop and make sure everything’s clear. If there’s blinking lights, make sure you treat it as a stop or at least a cautionary through the intersection,” he said. “If there’s stop signs posted, follow those rules just to keep yourself and everyone else safe.”

Both vehicles were towed, and police performed some minor traffic control for about an hour.

Ed. note: An earlier version of this article identified the driver of the minivan as being the one transported to the hospital.

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

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