ST. GEORGE — The loss of a motorhome’s driveline on northbound Interstate 15 through the Virgin River Gorge resulted in a chain-reaction that included a rollover and a series of rear-end collisions Friday night that partially closed the highway.
Around 7:05 MST, a Holiday Rambler motorhome lost it’s driveline on the road while on northbound I-15 in the area of milepost 20, said Trooper Thomas Callister of the Arizona Department Public Safety, who responded to the resulting scene.
Callister described the driveline as being one of the “heavy duty, massive ones” found on diesel vehicles. The driveline transfers power from the engine and transmission to the wheels.
The motorhome lost the driveline around a blind turn, which didn’t allow the driver of a car making the turn enough time to serve out of the way once she saw the driveline in the road. The woman’s car hit the driveline and caused the car the roll.
Fortunately, the driver experienced only minor bruising related to wearing a seatbelt, Callister said. If she hadn’t been wearing the seatbelt, the outcome may have been worse.
Shortly after the car rolled, a white SUV made the turn and stopped in the road once the driver came across the rollover and driveline ahead. While stopped, the white SUV was rear-ended by an oncoming vehicle, which in turn was rear-ended by the vehicle behind it.
The white SUV and its occupants had left the scene by the time responders began to arrive, Callister said.
Overall, there were only minor injuries involved and no citations were issued.
“It’s not really a traffic violation to have a driveline fall out of your vehicle,” Callister said. “It just is what it is.”
Northbound I-15 around mile 20 in the gorge was partially blocked for around 90 minutes as responders worked to clear the scene.
This report is based on information provided by law enforcement and may not contain the full scope of findings.
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