Police say possibly impaired driver hit 2 other pickup trucks before crashing into I-15 median

CEDAR CITY — Police say a reckless driver struck and damaged two other pickup trucks on northbound Interstate 15 before crashing into the median himself on Monday afternoon.

The incident reportedly happened just before 12:30 p.m. near mile marker 61 on I-15 in Cedar City and involved three pickup trucks: a silver GMC, a dark gray Toyota Tacoma and a white Ford F-150.

Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Bambi Baie said other drivers on the interstate reported the man behind the wheel of the GMC had been driving recklessly.

“The witnesses, and the people that were hit, said he was going between 95 and 100 miles an hour and was all over the road,” Baie told Cedar City News.

At some point, Baie said, the driver of the GMC came up behind the Toyota pickup and hit it from the rear, then accelerated. Shortly after that, the Toyota was pushed over or through a cable barrier and into the center median, she said.

Then, a couple hundred yards to the north of where the Toyota left the interstate, the GMC ended up crashing through cable barriers and guardrail fencing on the left side of the roadway, rolling at least once and coming to rest on its wheels in the median, closer to the southbound lanes.

Tow truck operators prepare to remove a damaged GMC pickup from the scene of a multi-vehicle crash on Interstate 15 in Cedar City, Utah, Jan. 25, 2021 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Meanwhile, the Ford F-150, which was reportedly sideswiped by the GMC, pulled over to the side of the road some distance farther north. That vehicle sustained minor damage and its two occupants were unharmed, Baie said. After making an incident report with UHP, they later drove away from the scene.

The two occupants of the Toyota were taken to the hospital in a private vehicle but did not appear to be seriously injured, Baie said. Their truck sustained moderate damage.

After being extricated from his truck, the GMC driver was transported by ambulance to Cedar City Hospital for treatment of unspecified injuries. The GMC vehicle sustained heavy damage and was towed from the scene. 

Baie said charges against the GMC driver would be forthcoming, pending the results of a blood test to determine possible impairment.

“We did get permission to do a blood draw,” she said, adding, “There will be charges but they’re going to be screened through the county attorney when we get the blood results back.”

Traffic in the area was impacted for approximately one hour as responders worked to clear the scene. The left lanes on either side of I-15 had UHP vehicles parked with flashing lights cautioning drivers to slow down and stay in the rightmost lanes.

“There were no secondary accidents,” Baie added.

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

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

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