Sunrise collision results in fatality at sundown

ST. GEORGE – This day that started with a head-on collision not long after sunrise, between two teens* in an SUV and a Ford pickup driven by 43-year-old Donald Padilla, ends with the tragic news that Padilla did not survive.

Padilla was transported by Life Flight from the accident location to University Medical Center in Las Vegas in extremely critical condition. Padilla passed away sometime around sunset this evening. He was surrounded by family.

We extend our heartfelt condolences to the family.


* St. George News elects not to publish names of juveniles in this incident, consistent with its policy against naming juveniles who are or may be witnesses, victims or accused, or may meet other privacy considerations.

Twitter: @JoyceKuzmanic

Copyright 2012 St. George News.


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  • San May 24, 2012 at 5:56 am

    I think there must be a bad edit, in the first sentence of the story.

    Condolences ot the Padilla family.

    As far as one car being driven by teens and the one truck by Mr. Padilla…

    …. Why were inexperienced drivers encouraged to be on the roads in the pre-dawn hours, the morning after checking out of school?
    …..Who thought this would pan out with the kids exhibiting responsible behavior?
    …..Did anyone expect them to eat dinner with their families, go home early and sleep? No. Were the majority up past midnight (or all night) and drowsy driving…probably.

    By the news accounts, this was a head on collision caused when the student driving swerved head on into Mr. Padilla’s truck. What caused him to swerve? Had he slept that night?

    The questions I’ve asked need to be addressed by the school district. Also, who planned this event? There’s a young-parent crowd up here who think, dress, talk and act like their teenagers. That’s (amusing and ) fine, for them, as long as they don’t have the school district’s stamp of approval on such a poorly conceived actvitiy. If you are going to put exhausted kids on the roads at sunrise, then lets put them in buses before we send them across town!

    :::”””””:shaking head in disbelief…again::::::::::::

  • Courtney White May 24, 2012 at 9:58 am

    I am sorry that this happened. I am not going to pass judgement on two children. Accidents happen. My mom was involved in a hit and run accident last year. I am so sorry for the family. I am sorry for the children’s families. IT WAS AN ACCIDENT.

  • Pheo May 24, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Maybe I’m being a little over-sensitive here, but the headline seems inappropriately cute. Thanks for your otherwise excellent reporting on this story.

  • Bevisss May 24, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    Wow San, a poorly conceived activity? I am stunned that you think 17 almost 18 yr. old men should be regulated on what and when they do things like drive. No it is not the parents or the school districts fault either. It was an accident. Get over it.

    It is very sad to hear that mr. Padilla passed. God bless the families involved.

  • Heather Oxendine May 25, 2012 at 6:45 am

    My heart goes out to all the families involved in this tragic ACCIDENT. I happen to know the wife of Mr Padilla and my heart breaks for her and her two boys. However, I have to keep in mind that this was an ACCIDENT involoving teens who came from a supervised activity, in which they are not allowed to leave and are encouraged to enjoy some fun with fellow classmates, which does not involve drinking and drugs. While I find this to be a very tragic situation, I still find myself thankful for the schools in this area who offer the teens an alternative to being out and about, doing who knows what! Those young men could have been up early going to the gym, lake or anywhere and this still could have happened. My prayers go out to Becky and her family as well as the two young men and their families. God Bless.

  • Brian May 29, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    Donald was my bro-in-law. Regardless of this was a school sanctioned event or not, being up all night than choosing to operate a motor vehicle is irresponsible. Period. I harbor no ill feelings for this young man. There is no judgment I could pass or words that I can say to this young man that could be more harsh than what I am sure he is feeling right now. Yes everyone, it was an accident. One that have could have been avoided. Should have been avoided. Fatigued driving is considered in many states the same as DUI. Not my rules. It is what it is. He is in alot of trouble. Many lives ruined. Sounds like it is time for this “Senior Sunrise” event to be revamped….

  • Oscar May 30, 2012 at 7:26 am

    I don’t think Senior Sunrise needs to be re-vamped or anything like that. If a bus full of students crash while going to a football game do we cancel all football games? No, that’s not the right approach. Senior Sunrise is not school affiliated. It’s just a bunch of Juniors that go out and stay up till the sun comes up. Then they go home. Unfortunately things happen in life that change others lives forever. This event is very sad and has changed many families forever.

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