Motorcyclist airlifted to hospital after collision in intersection

A motorcycle rider was airlifted to the hospital after being hit by a car making a left-hand turn, St. George, Utah, July 31, 2013 | Photo by Kristen Edwards, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – A motorcycle rider was airlifted to the Dixie Regional Medical Center after being hit by a car in the Bluff Street-Red Hills Parkway intersection Wednesday.

St. George Police Sgt. Craig Harding said that around 7:30 a.m., a motorcycle was traveling northbound on Bluff Street through the Red Cliffs Parkway intersection on a yellow light. While doing so, the motorcycle was initially cut off by a southbound car making a left turn toward Red Hills Parkway. The motorcycle rider reportedly yelled at the first car before being hit in the side by a second car also making a left turn.

The impact left the motorcycle rider with significant injuries to his left leg and Life Flight was called in to transport the rider to Dixie Regional Medical Center. Harding said the rider’s leg appeared to be broken in several places, though the rider was coherent and talkative when Harding contacted him at the hospital following the accident.

Harding said the motorcycle rider, from Oregon, was a part of a multi-state group riding through the area. He had split from the group and was heading home when the accident occurred.

The driver of the second car was cited for failure to yield to oncoming traffic, Harding said. When making a left turn, drivers are required by law to wait for oncoming traffic. Attempting to beat a red light while not paying attention to the rest of the traffic in an intersection is not encouraged.

Since March, Harding said the police have responded to at least one scooter or motorcycle accident each week. Sometimes they have responded to as many as two or three in the same week. “We’re having an alarming rate of motorcycle crashes,” he said.

“Drivers need to pay attention,” Harding said. As the same time, scooter and motorcycle riders also tend to set themselves up for accidents. Inattentive drivers and inexperienced riders don’t make a good combination, he said.

“People need to look left, right, and left again,” when at a stop, Harding said. There are so many distractions involved in driving that people forget to pay attention to basic safety tips and procedures.

Anyone who rides a scooter or a motorcycle  is strong encouraged by the police to take courses in defensive driving. “It’s the best 16 hours you’ll ever spend,” Harding said.

Such courses are offered through Dixie State University and local Harley Davidson dealerships, Harding said.


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Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

Life Flight on scene of multiple vehicle and motorcycle crash at Snow Canyon Parkway and Bluff Street, St. George, Utah, July 31, 2013 | Photo by Kristen Edwards, St. George News
A motorcycle rider was airlifted to the hospital after being hit by a car making a left-turn, St. George, Utah, July 31, 2013 | Photo by Kristen Edwards, St. George News



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  • Hugh Vanderborgt July 31, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    Go southbound on Hwy 18 through this intersection almost daily. The flashing yellow arrow is extremely confusing is you are not used to it. Please get RID OF IT! Either NO ARROW or a RED/GREEN arrow would be much better!!

    • Alvin July 31, 2013 at 2:13 pm

      UDOT could eliminate the flashing yellow which would mean you would have to just sit there until a green arrow was shown. The purpose of the flashing yellow is to help the flow of traffic and not have to just sit there for a full signal cycle. The downfall of this flashing arrow is it gives the driver turning left the opportunity to “think” for themselves and decide whether or not it is safe to turn or not. The concept of the flashing turn arrow is great but it “assumes” the driver turning left is alert and aware of their surroundings and capable of making a safe decision. It’s very possible that UDOT may determine that the flashing arrow is above the mental capabilities of many STG drivers and go back to the old system.

      • NickP July 31, 2013 at 4:09 pm

        What if we made them solid yellow and not arrows. They were confusing at first. Put signs up that state yeild with yellow arrow.

  • My Evil Twin July 31, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    I agree with Alvin on this. There is nothing at all wrong with the flashing yellow left turn signal. The problem is that people are just too darn stupid to think for themselves, or to open their eyes and watch what they are doing.
    And motorcyclists need to realize that when they tangle with another vehicle, they are going to be the ones that lose. It means you have to drive much more defensively if you are on a motorcycle. Because the drivers of the other vehicles, either do not see you, or do not give a right rip if they kill you or not.

  • Dave July 31, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Many motorist heading south through that intersection come off that hill speeding at least 20 mph over the speed limit. NO ONE should be going through that intersection at 40 mph in any direction.

  • DB July 31, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    I defer to the professionals, of course, but was Life Flight really needed on this one?

    • Local July 31, 2013 at 8:03 pm

      DB-NO it wasn’t. IMO they get called wayyyy too much. That it will get stuck with an $8000 bill min in place of a 5-10 drive to the hospital. By the time they get warmed up fly land on scene and then warm up land and unload at dixie, that guy could’ve been there a Long time. If Gold Cross is a Paramedic service as they say, there is very little a helicopter can do to benefit this guy. So either GC isn’t pulling their weight or someone wasn’t using their best judgement.

      • CJ August 1, 2013 at 3:02 pm

        Life flight DEFINITELY needed to be on scene. However, I’m not sure why they transported him once they recognized he didn’t have a head injury. Life flight should have just been on stand by while they assessed his injuries. We have very limited neuro capabilities at our facility right now and the victim would have been flown from the scene straight to Vegas if needed. As far as why life flight took him to DRMC, not sure but its hard to say not knowing all the details.

  • Tyler July 31, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    No worries, soon that light will not even exist as UDOT plans to blow even more tax dollars on making an elaborate freeway-like interchange there. It sounds cool and all, but really, didn’t they just recently spend $1000s on upgrading that light with new poles, arms and arrow lights? Priorities always seem so off here.

    • Gunther July 31, 2013 at 4:40 pm

      Go find a conceptual drawing of the interchange. The intersection and signals stay as is, and the interchange is built on both sides. No money wasted here. Well, maybe a few bucks.

  • Breck July 31, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    I’m having a hard time wondering how life flight was needed. Surely they could have already had the patient to DRMC before the Helicopter even arrived. Does someone know why they would use it for something like this other theb hitting the patient with a nasty bill?

  • BMJ July 31, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    As a motorcyclist myself, first my prayers go out to this guy and I hope he is ok. Secondly, I think if a flashing yellow light is confusing to you then you definitely should not have a license to drive a vehicle that could easily kill a motorcyclist because of your inability to understand basic traffic signals.

  • Family July 31, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    This is family of the motorcyclist…my brother-in-law was in surgery for many hours, broken collar bone, compound fractures in his leg, smashed ankle, head wound near his eye, possible head trauma, black and blue all over. He came through surgery okay, still not out of the woods yet. A VERY LONG recovery. We are thanking God he is alive and not paralyzed.

    Will someone tell me how far it is from that intersection to Dixie Med. Center? I know folks are questioning the air flight. He was badly injured, but if it was only 10 min. away, then we too are wondering why the air flight service was called.

    But make no mistake, he was in bad shape and life threatening at first, he needed immediate. For the sake of others I hope they fix the yellow flashing light, before someone gets KILLED!!

    • Avatar photo Mori Kessler July 31, 2013 at 10:07 pm

      Dixie Regional Medical Center is roughly 4 to 5 miles from the intersection where the accident occurred.

      • Karl Hafen July 31, 2013 at 10:53 pm

        Google says 4.7 miles, 12 minutes at normal driving speed.

    • Avatar photo Joyce Kuzmanic July 31, 2013 at 10:49 pm

      In Washington County, Family, it is protocol for trauma patients to be flown directly to University Medical Center in Las Vegas as a matter of course. Life Flight would likely be brought in, in preparation for whichever destination was determined most appropriate for emergent care.
      Thank you for the update on your brother-in-law.
      Our best to you and him for his recovery.
      Joyce Kuzmanic
      Editor in Chief

  • Cindi July 31, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    I passed by this accident within minutes of it happening and the motorcycle rider was in bad shape. I had to sit at the light and all I could see was lots of blood all over this fellows face. There were numerous medics trying to help him, we as readers don’t know all the details of this fellows injuries, so I don’t think we should judge why a helicopter was used. It was the busy part of the morning and the streets to the hospital would of been busy.

  • Ron Truman July 31, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    For some unknown reason the flashing yellow arrows seem to be confusing to some. I have a client who was injured when an out of state driver turned on a flashing yellow light and crashed into my client. My best wishes to the family and to the injured gentleman, a speedy and complete recovery. Please remember to document everything and preserve relevant evidence.

    • CitizenRep August 1, 2013 at 9:02 am

      Ron: Really? Is this how you get your clients?

    • DoubleTap August 1, 2013 at 10:43 am

      Nice business “plug” there Mr. Ron Truman,Esq.

  • Sweet Jude August 1, 2013 at 10:39 am

    If flashing yellow lights seem confusing to you, then take an extra 16 hours of driving courses. You need to stay alert first and foremost. UDOT isn’t going to solve the world’s problems for you regardless of your level of knowledge.

    Listen to the officers who know what the REAL CAUSE of accidents are.

  • Joanna August 1, 2013 at 11:06 am

    “Attempting to beat a red light while not paying attention to the rest of the traffic in an intersection is not encouraged.”

    So noted 🙂

  • Daughter August 1, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    I am the daughter of this man. I appreciate all you who send your regards. No one can really understand what happened that day because we weren’t there. I’d appciate it if your comments are supportive and positive. My family is still trying to terms with this situation. It’s tough enough that he’s in a different state.

  • Familu August 8, 2013 at 9:56 am

    Update…it’s now been over a week since my brother-in-laws accident. We now know that he lost 75% of his blood that morning, thank GOD for the emergency response from the police, fire department, emt’s, and everyone that was involved that morning, thank you “Life Flight”. So thankful that he was wearing his helmet and had the proper gear on that morning. His boot may have saved his foot, but his helmet saved his life.

    He was trasferred to the “Acute Rehabilitation Unit, Dixie Reg. Med. Center” in St. George” yesterday. A full evaluation today will determine is future discharge etc. He continues to heal daily, but his injuries are still very serious.

    I personally want to thank this community for the outpouring of love and well wishes, he has been overwhelmed with all the visits, followups, calls, emails, etc. We have been so blessed by YOU. But isn’t that just how God made us, full of heart and soul.

    Please continue to lift him up in prayer, a very long recovery road ahead, I know his perspective on everthing has changed, facing death makes one re-evaluate the important things in life, faith, purpose, family, friends, etc…..

  • The GF August 17, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    Day 18 post accident. As a witness or a person that “hears” what happened that morning, will not fully know all the details. What I heard — We do know that MC was wearing full protective gear and he did have the right of way. Head Trauma was first suspected and that’s why life flight was brought in. When the blood loss was so severe due to multiple open fractures they knew that he wouldn’t make it to Vegas and flighted him to Dixie despite the head injury . Perhaps an ambulance ride to Dixie should have happened, but since he lived, I won’t revisit the sequence of events. We live 1000 miles from here. MC was on his way home, just leaving St. George and traveling alone. We said our “I love you’s” just 15 minutes before an STG officer called me from MC’s phone. I got that call no one wants to get. I flew down that morning and have been blessed to be able to stay at the Jubilee home here at DRMC. I basically live at the Hospital from 6 – 10 at night. “his support person” The Team of Doctors and Nurses that put MC back together and saved his life will never be forgotten. Every single person at ALL of the Dixie locations have been amazing! We are blessed to be in their care.

    As for the yellow flashing arrows, the intersections that don’t consistently state “yield to oncoming traffic” or have arrows, lack of paint defining lanes, single lights for two lanes and drivers that think it’s a good idea to run that red in order to get through – is a bit troublesome for me. I’ve been here now for 18 days and my goal is to avoid having an accident as I get through town during the next few weeks before we had home. It’s not been easy.

    BIG Love to so many that have reached out is the hugest ways. You know who you are. One last thing – my new passion IS If you injury someone – you best be able to take care of their medical expenses. What does YOUR vehicle Insurance coverage look like? The State minimum IS NOT ENOUGH. Our lives have forever changed – drive safe, think of others FIRST. Getting somewhere 30 seconds sooner is not worth what could happen to an innocent victim. The GF

    • My Evil Twin August 17, 2013 at 4:37 pm

      Thank you for the update! We usually never hear any more of what happened to anyone in these cases. Once the initial news reporting is done, that is it for information. Again, I thank you, and my best to this rider.

  • MidiMagic August 25, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    With a flashing yellow arrow still flashing, the oncoming signal is green.

    The flashing yellow arrow can NOT change to steady yellow unless the circular green for oncoming traffic also changes to circular yellow. Anything else is against federal standards.

    Find out why people are not seeing motorcycles. Is the background too busy?

  • Daughter September 10, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    For those of you who previously commented on this article saying things such as life flight wasn’t needed and we spent x amount of money on him for no reason. .what if this was your son/daughter/mother/father/sister/brother would you want someone to think twice about life flighting them somewhere when they are CLEARLY bleeding out???? I DONT THINK SO. You people make me sick. My dad has been in a hospital since this day and is still in one having surgery after surgery trying to fix all the damage from this crash. You say motorcycles need to be careful when they ride?? How about drivers look out for these people like they should be doing. As far as future comments go…keep them positive or don’t say anything at all. Life is hard enough right now, we as his family dont need to see your bull crap opinions.

  • The GF September 16, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    My Mike is still fighting for his limb. He’s also had a heart attack before leaving DRMC. We are home now in OR. He has been in the hospital since one day after arriving. The first hospital couldn’t manage his wounds so we were moved to a Trauma Level 1 Hospital. A few days ago they took his entire right back muscle and placed it on his foot and ankle in an effort to help him ever use his foot again. We have been back in ICU in Portland for 5 days. This marks almost 7 weeks in the hospital. Dixie did an amazing job at helping us recall the people at DRMC and what powerful commitment they have to their patients. Mike was able to meet the FF at Snow Canyon Firehouse #7. We appreciate everyone in St. George. (except Budget Rental that made me pay an entire day because my rental came back one hour late. I even explained ahead of time why it would be late due to the transport to the airport with Mike. Budget no more!) Here is the you tube video Dixie / Brady White put together. All our best to everyone who had their hands on Mike. My message remains – DON’T Turn left when you don’t have the right of way – DON’T take chances at your yellow lights. YELLOW means “Slow down and stop – not hurry up and run the light” ALSO know your auto insurance limits and what they mean. For just a few dollars a month you can double your coverage. Please protect the person YOU may injury. All my best from MC’s GF. PS We will be back and we will be walking!

  • The GF November 4, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    It’s been just over 3 months. Mike was in the hospital for exactly 12 weeks and he underwent 12 surgeries. We’ve been at home for almost 2 weeks and we are trying to get a routine figured out. It will be months before he walks and that’s when the rehab will really begin. If you’ve checked back here – that’s nice and it means you took an interest in Mike’s recovery. I have a blog that you are welcome to read. We certainly have a lot of love and support as we endure this long and painful journey. Like I have said before – drive safe, don’t rush, know your insurance limits and consider giving up just one lunch a month to offset the premium cost of perhaps doubling your coverage. Fondest memories of the folks at DRMC!!!! The Dixie spirit really lives within us!

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