SUV carrying 7 teens rolls on Navajo Drive, 3 transported to hospital

Toyota FJ Cruiser carrying 7 teens lands on its side following rollover on Navajo Drive in Washington County, Utah, Dec. 15, 2020 | Photo courtesy of Sgt. Nate Abbott, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A crash off of Apex Mine Road on Tuesday sent three teens to the hospital, one by helicopter, after an SUV carrying seven juveniles rolled multiple times.

Shortly after 2:30 p.m., emergency personnel were dispatched to a single-vehicle rollover reported off of Navajo Drive near where the road divides into Hollow Washington Road, a rugged area approximately 10 miles east of Apex Mine Road. A Mercy Air helicopter was also dispatched to the scene to assist, St. George Fire Chief Robert Stoker said.

Responders arrived the find the Toyota FJ Cruiser on its side and three of the seven juvenile occupants injured. Two of the teens were ground transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center for evaluation and treatment, while a 16-year-old girl was flown to the same hospital.

Due to the location where the crash took place and the number of occupants involved, a rescue team was also called in to assist, said Sgt. Darrel Cashin with the Washington County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue program.

“I sent some of the guys out there to help out since there were so many kids out there,” he said.

Emergency personnel respond to a rollover involving Toyota FJ Cruiser carrying 7 teens on Navajo Drive in Washington County, Utah, Dec. 15, 2020 | Photo courtesy of Sgt. Nate Abbott, St. George News

At the time of the crash, the Toyota was heading down Navajo Drive in the direction of Apex Mine Road, and as the SUV continued over a small hill, Stoker said, the driver lost control of the vehicle. The SUV went off the road where it struck the rocks and brush before rolling multiple times.

While there were injuries reported, Stoker added, the situation could have been worse considering the number of teens that were in the vehicle at the time. That is also the reason emergency dispatch requested a helicopter right away. In this case, he added, there were initial reports indicating a possible head injury, which escalated the call.

As it turned out, the teens that were transported sustained non-life-threatening injuries, he said, while the four juveniles that remained at the scene sustained only minor injuries and declined transport before being turned over to their parents a short while later.

The crash investigation was handled by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and St. George Fire Department, and the St. George Police Department, Gold Cross Ambulance, Washington County Search and Rescue, and Mercy Air responded to assist.

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

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