Elderly driver crashes on I-15, tears out 50 feet of cable barrier

An elderly driver of a red Mini Cooper was involved in a single-car crash on Interstate 15 near mile marker 33 Tuesday night, Washington County, Utah, July 19, 2016 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

WASHINGTON COUNTY — Approximately 50 feet of cable barrier was taken out after an elderly driver crashed into it and continued driving northbound until his vehicle gave out near Pintura Tuesday night.

Just before 9:30 p.m. officers were dispatched to Interstate 15 near Exit 33 for a single-car accident after several motorists called 911 reporting a driver weaving in and out of traffic at a high rate of speed, Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Jalaine Hawkes said.

As authorities were en route they noticed a long stretch of cable barrier was damaged or missing. At the end of the damaged cable troopers found a red Mini Cooper near the median of the interstate with an elderly man inside.

As officers attempted to question the 87-year-old driver they discovered from the man’s answers that a possible medical issue may have contributed to the collision with the cable barrier, Hawkes said.

The driver told authorities he had no idea where he was, or how the accident occurred, and when asked for any family or emergency contacts the elderly man was unable to provide any information to police.

The driver stated he was uninjured during the collision.

The man was then transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center for observation to determine if an underlying medical issue may have caused the crash, Hawkes said.

The Mini Cooper sustained extensive frontal damage and was subsequently towed from the scene.

The man’s family was located and informed of what occurred. No citations were issued, Hawkes 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.

St. George News senior reporter Mori Kessler contributed to this report.

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Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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  • Christine July 21, 2016 at 8:43 am

    I honestly believe that we let too many drivers simply renew their license. How often are people required to re-take the test in order to qualify? I think they should require a new test every other time, then, after 60 or so, every time they renew, then, after 80 or so, every year! People’s health can diminish so quickly! My husband’s grandmother got an infection in her leg and within 6 months had to be moved to a home because her health was so bad. It took another year (I think) for his mom to decide to take away her driving privileges! Meanwhile I found her once parked right at the entrance to the old Albertsons on Bluff, wandering the store, with a clock, looking for the correct batteries!!

  • knobe July 21, 2016 at 10:40 am

    We each need to plan for the day when our driving becomes erratic .
    I suspect , because it’s a slow gradual thing , many people just dismiss the changes .
    Reality . . . geezers often become as dangerous as teens with new crazy hormones .
    Start making a plan Now so you don’t end up in the trashed vehicle ,
    or worse , Killing someone who happens to be nearby when you lose it .


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