Back-to-back crashes cause major traffic snarl on I-15

Two accidents involving six vehicles slowed traffic on Interstate 15 Friday afternoon, Washington, Utah, July 1, 2016 | Photo by Julie Applegate, St. George News
Two accidents involving six vehicles slowed traffic on Interstate 15 Friday afternoon, Washington, Utah, July 1, 2016 | Photo by Julie Applegate, St. George News

WASHINGTON – A four-car crash north of the Green Springs exit on Interstate 15 and a secondary crash near milepost 7 in St. George injured two people Friday and triggered a major traffic backup.

The first incident occurred at about milepost 11 on northbound I-15 shortly before 12:30 p.m., Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Seth Spencer said.

The crash occurred when three cars came to a stop due to heavy traffic and a fourth car, a 2014 Jeep Cherokee, struck the first three from behind.

The Jeep first struck a 2011 Nissan Sentra, pushing it off the side of the road. The Jeep then struck a blue Kia Forte and pushed it into a Chevrolet Equinox SUV.

The two occupants of the Jeep were transported by Gold Cross Ambulance to Dixie Regional Medical Center with fairly minor injuries, Spencer said. The driver of the Jeep was cited for following too closely.

Everyone involved in the accident was appropriately restrained, he said.

All four vehicles were towed from the scene. UHP was assisted by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. Geroge Police Department and other agencies.

Traffic was heavy at the time and drivers were merging onto the freeway on the northbound Green Springs on-ramp, Spencer said. The accident occurred about a quarter-mile north of the end of the onramp.

Travel was reduced to one lane for at least 30 minutes, Spencer said. The lane restriction triggered a traffic slowdown that stretched for several miles.

At one point, traffic was backed up from about north of the Green Springs exit at about milepost 11.5 south to the Dixie Drive Exit 5. At 3 p.m., traffic in the area was still slow as a result of the accidents, Spencer said.

2nd crash

At about 1:10 p.m., another accident occurred in the northbound lane near milepost 7, UHP Trooper Chris Lewis said.

A Star Nursery flatbed was heading north in the right lane when it was struck by a VW Beetle. The VW had started to move to the right to get off at the St. George Boulevard exit, but a traffic barrel marking the construction zone was blocking the way. As the driver tried to get back into the lane of travel, she hit the flatbed.

“Traffic was stop-and-go,” Lewis said. “She was just trying to get off the exit.” The driver of the VW was cited for not yielding the right-of-way,

Although it was a very low-speed collision, Lewis said, there was significant damage to the driver’s side of the VW. Everyone involved was wearing a seat belt and no one was injured, Lewis said.

This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

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1 Comment

  • DesertBill July 2, 2016 at 9:25 am

    It seems like lately, more articles are reporting that people involved in accidents were wearing their seat belts. With the resultant reduction in injuries or death. Way to go!

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