Collision occurs on Telegraph Street when driver turns in front of traffic

Washington City police responding to a two car crash in early morning hours Wednesday. No injuries were reported. Washington, Utah, July 29, 2020 | Photo courtesy Washington City Police Department, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — With the sunrise still low in the sky, Washington City Police officers responded to a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of Telegraph Street and 300 East Wednesday.

At around 8 a.m., a gray Volkswagen passenger car turned in front of a 2009 gray Nissan Altima, Washington City Police Lt. Kory Klotz said.

“The Volkswagen, driven by a 22-year-old female, was in the turn lane to head south on 300 East,” he said. “The driver had a flashing yellow yield arrow to turn left. The male driver of the Altima was traveling eastbound on Telegraph through a green light at the intersection when the female driving the Volkswagen decided to turn left when it was clearly not safe to make the turn.”

What was originally reported as a head-on collision was determined at the scene to be more of a glancing blow to the passenger side of the Volkswagen.

“As the Altima was coming through the intersection, it hit the VW on the passenger side, which caused it to spin and the front bumper coming off that appeared as a head-on collision.”

Washington City police responded to a two-car accident when a gray 2015, Volkswagen passenger vehicle turned in front of a 2009 gray Nissan Altima at the intersection of Telegraph and 300 East. Washington, Utah, July 29, 2020 | Photo courtesy Washington City Police, St. George News

Both vehicles had airbags deployed. Both drivers were evaluated for injuries at the scene, but the occupants each declined transport to the hospital. The driver of the Volkswagen was issued a citation for making an improper left turn.

Inattention — not determined as a factor in this crash — while waiting for traffic to clear during a yellow yield signal can play a role in the cause of some accidents, Klotz said.

“This is what we see,” Klotz said. “There is so much going on in peoples’ day-to-day lives. They are thinking about what they have to do when they get to work or they might be late getting somewhere. Drivers are so used to seeing a green arrow and don’t notice it’s yellow. They find themselves turning into traffic.”

There is no need to “dart” in front of oncoming cars even if the driver is paying attention, Klotz added.

Another contributing factor, he said, could have been the time of day. The sun low on the horizon could have contributed to the driver of the Altima not noticing the imminent crash evolving in front of him as the Volkswagen pulled into oncoming traffic.

“This is important with school scheduled to start in a couple of weeks,” Klotz said. “We need all drivers to pay even more attention, especially during the morning hours when children are going off to school.”

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

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