Officers confronted with conflicting statements, large debris field in back-to-back crashes in Santa Clara

ST. GEORGE — Two back-to-back crashes at the intersection of Santa Clara Drive and Lava Flow Drive Monday morning tied up traffic and left four vehicles heavily damaged as responders worked to clear two separate scenes littered with debris.

The first crash was reported shortly after 8 a.m. involving a head-on collision between a Kia Soul and a white Jeep. Officers arrived to find both vehicles partially blocking traffic. No serious injuries were reported, nor were any of the occupants transported to the hospital, Santa Clara-Ivins Police Sgt. Reed Briggs told St. George News.

At the time of the crash, the Kia driver was headed west on Santa Clara Drive, while the driver of the Jeep was headed east and approached the intersection to turn left heading north on Lava Flow Drive.

The driver of the Jeep pulled out to make the turn and was struck by the Kia, which continued straight through the intersection on a yellow light.

Both vehicles were heavily damaged and subsequently towed from the scene.

Shortly after the first scene cleared, a second crash was reported at the same intersection involving a charcoal Ford F-150 and a white Subaru SUV that ended up partially blocking both westbound lanes of Santa Clara Drive just before 10 a.m.

At the time of the crash, the driver of the Ford was heading west on Santa Clara Drive while the Subaru driver was heading south on Lava Flow Drive. The driver of the Subaru pulled out into the intersection to make a left-hand turn heading east into St. George when it was struck by the pickup truck in the middle of the intersection. All airbags deployed in both vehicles upon impact.

Officers and emergency personnel at the scene of a two-vehicle crash on Santa Clara Drive and Lava Flow Drive, Santa Clara, Utah, Oct. 12, 2020 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

Briggs said that both drivers provided conflicting statements to police. The driver of the pickup said the light was green as he continued through the intersection, while the Subaru driver said they entered the intersection on a green light to make the turn and were struck by the pickup as it ran a red light.

Briggs said that in most cases, the disparity between the statements can be cleared up by witnesses at the scene, but not so in this case. Despite having multiple witnesses who provided statements, no one was able to definitively say which driver had the right-of-way, nor could they confirm the status of the traffic lights at the moment the vehicles entered the intersection.

“So it’s basically one driver’s word against the other,” Briggs said.

The two vehicles were heavily damaged and subsequently towed from the scene. No citations were issued in either crash. The Santa Clara-Ivins Police Department and Santa Clara-Ivins Fire and Rescue responded and tended to the scene.

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

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