Driver blames sun glare for vehicle ending up on concrete barrier in St. George, police say

ST. GEORGE — An SUV was launched onto a 4-foot concrete barrier when a driver was partially blinded by the glare of the rising sun as she negotiated a turn on the St. George Boulevard overpass.

Ford Escape wedged on an extended concrete barrier separating walkway on the St. George Boulevard overpass, St. George, Utah, Nov. 30, 2021 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

Shortly after 8 a.m. emergency personnel responded to a single-vehicle crash on the eastbound side of the St. George Boulevard overpass involving a charcoal gray Ford Escape with a driver who was reporting injuries.

St. George Police Officer Eric Trombley said when officers arrived, they found the Escape on top of one of the concrete barriers that separates the walkway running through the middle of the overpass placed there to protect pedestrians from vehicle crossovers.

The driver was not inquired in the crash itself, Trombley said. Instead, disoriented immediately after the crash and unaware the driver’s side of the SUV was more than 4 feet off the ground, when she opened the door to exit the vehicle, she stepped down thinking she was closer to the ground. When her feet failed to touch the ground, she fell from the vehicle and landed on the shoulder of the roadway.

“She definitely was injured when that happened,” Trombley said.

The woman was transported to St. George Regional Hospital to be treated for her injuries.

Emergency personnel respond to single-vehicle crash on the St. George Boulevard overpass, in St. George, Utah, Nov. 30, 2021 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

At the time of the crash, the woman had just exited Interstate 15 at St. George Boulevard and turned left to continue across the overpass. As she did so, the sun was just coming up over the hill, Trombley said, and the driver was struck by the bright glare, making it nearly impossible to see.

As a result, she made a wider turn than was necessary, which launched the Ford up onto the extended concrete barrier where it became wedged.

Being that the SUV drove straight up the barrier without hitting anything else, Trombley said, the damage to the Ford appeared to be confined to the undercarriage of the vehicle. The vehicle was pulled from the barrier and later towed from the scene.

No other vehicles were involved in the incident, but Trombley said a citation is forthcoming. Initially, both eastbound lanes of the Boulevard were partially blocked, but within minutes a single lane was reopened to allow traffic to move past the scene.

The St. George Police Department, St. George Fire Department, Gold Cross Ambulance and the Utah Department of Transportation’s Incident Management Team responded and tended to the scene.

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

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.  

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

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!