Back-to-back crashes on Bluff Street cause injuries, morning traffic delays

ST. GEORGE — Two crashes reported minutes apart at opposite ends of Bluff Street left four vehicles damaged, one driver injured, a busted water line as well as landscaping debris that was thrown across the roadway as responders tended to the scenes Monday morning.

Jeep is heavily damaged in center turn lane following two-vehicle crash at 900 block of South Bluff Street, St. George, Utah, July 26, 2021 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

The first crash was reported shortly after 8 a.m. on South Bluff Street across from the Red Roof Inn and involved a black Jeep and a copper Chevrolet Cruz.

Both vehicles initially came to rest in the median of South Bluff before the Cruz, which remained somewhat operational, was moved into the Garden Buffet parking lot just south of the Red Roof Inn.

St. George Police Officer David Slack told St. George News neither driver reported any injuries and both were properly restrained when the incident took place.

At the time of the crash, the Cruz was pulling out of the parking lot near the Garden Buffet turning left to head north on Bluff Street, while the Jeep was pulling out of the parking lot on the opposite side of the street to turn left heading south on the same street.

“Somehow both vehicles ended up in the same spot in the middle of Bluff Street,” Slack said, adding that the crash is still under investigation.

The two vehicles were subsequently towed from the scene.

While emergency personnel were still tending to the first scene, a second crash was reported at the intersection of Bluff Street and St. George Boulevard involving a white Hyundai passenger car and a white Chrysler four-door sedan.

Emergency personnel respond to a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of St. George Boulevard and Bluff Street, St. George, Utah, July 26, 2021 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

Upon arrival, responders found the Chrysler in the middle of the intersection blocking both southbound lanes of Bluff Street. The Hyundai came to rest partially lodged into the embankment on the corner of South Tech Ridge Drive.

Additional officers were called in to assist with traffic control in the busy intersection, as the crash took place just before 9 a.m. The Utah Department of Transportation’s Incident Management Team was also on hand to move the damaged vehicles out of the roadway to reduce the backlog of cars lining up on Bluff Street just behind the crash.

St. George Police Officer Scott Cleveland said one of the drivers was injured in the crash and was transported to St. George Regional Hospital on their own, while the driver in the second vehicle reported no injuries at the scene.

At the time of the crash, Cleveland said, the Hyundai was heading west on St. George Boulevard and continued through the intersection toward South Tech Ridge Drive. At the same time, he said, the Chrysler was heading south in the outside lane of Bluff Street.

Water line breaks near sidewalk during a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of St. George Boulevard and Bluff Street, St. George, Utah, July 26, 2021 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George New

The Hyundai continued through the intersection where it was struck by the southbound Chrysler, and according to multiple witness statement, Cleveland said, the southbound Chrysler continued through the intersection after the traffic light had turned red. The Hyundai had the right-of-way as it continued through the intersection on a green light, he said.

During the collision, one of the vehicles struck a small water line used to irrigate the landscaping near the sidewalk running alongside South Tech Ridge Drive, and also ripped through a section of the landscaping that threw debris across the roadway.

UDOT’s Todd Abbott was on hand and assisted another maintenance worker as the pair made temporary repairs to stop the water flow coming from the damaged line. Repair crews from the St. George City Water Department were also called in to make the necessary repairs.

The airbags deployed in the two vehicles upon impact, and both vehicles were left demolished and towed from the roadway.

Cleveland also said the driver of the Chrysler would be cited for failing to obey a traffic control device. After nearly 40 minutes the scene was clear and traffic resumed to normal.

This report is based on statements from police, emergency personnel or other responders and may not contain the full scope of findings. 

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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