CEDAR CITY — A driver was arrested Wednesday afternoon following a rollover crash on northbound Interstate 15.
The incident, which involved a black Toyota Avalon passenger sedan with two adult occupants, occurred just south of the New Harmony exit at mile marker 42.
Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Joe Pastor told Cedar City News that at approximately 3:20 p.m., the 39-year-old male driver of the Toyota attempted to make a lane change into a lane that was already occupied by a semitractor-trailer.
“It made contact with a semi truck, in turn, forcing the vehicle off to the right shoulder, where it struck another semi traveling directly in front of it,” Pastor said.
The Toyota ended up rolling multiple times along the right shoulder before coming to rest upside down, Pastor added.
The Toyota driver sustained minor injuries such as a few cuts and abrasions, while the 27-year-old female passenger was not injured, UHP reported.
At the scene, troopers investigated the Toyota driver for possible impairment.
“The driver was subsequently arrested for driving under the influence,” Pastor said. He said the man was being taken to the hospital for medical clearance, after which he was expected to be booked into the Washington County Jail on suspicion of DUI.
The passenger in the Toyota was not detained nor cited, according to UHP.
The Toyota sustained heavy damage and was towed from the scene.
Pastor said the damage to both of the semis was believed to be minimal. The first semi driver may not have even been aware that any contact was made, as they did not stop, he said, adding that the second semi, which had an oversize load of road construction equipment, appeared to just have minor damage to a metal support bar holding one of the rearmost mud flaps. That truck did stop at the Exit 42 off ramp and its crew remained at the scene.
Pastor said the fact that both occupants of the Toyota were wearing their seat belts helped enable them to walk away from the crash with no serious injuries. Neither of the front airbags in the Toyota were deployed, he added.
Those responding to the scene included multiple UHP troopers, an Iron County Sheriff’s deputy, a Utah Department of Transportation incident manager and Gold Cross Ambulance personnel.
This report is based on information provided by law enforcement and may not contain the full scope of findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
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