DUI, stolen truck and hit-and-run highlight hectic day of back-to-back crashes on I-15

GMC pickup truck crashes into the median of northbound Interstate 15 just south of the Arizona-Utah border, Mohave County, Ariz., Aug. 29, 2021 | Submitted photo, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Three back-to-back crashes on Interstate 15 in Arizona south of the Utah border kept responders busy Sunday, with incidents ranging from a rollover involving a stolen truck, alleged DUI and an errant trailer.

Shortly before 9 a.m. MDT, troopers and emergency personnel responded to a single-vehicle crash on northbound I-15 in Mohave County, Arizona, near mile marker 24, just three miles south of the Utah-Arizona border, Arizona Department of Public Safety Trooper Thomas Callister said.

A silver GMC pickup truck had struck the concrete median, which disabled the vehicle and left it partially blocking the inside lane of travel, Callister said, explaining that the vehicle was stopped “just beyond a blind curve in the road.”

“That vehicle ended up in a very dangerous spot,” he added.

Troopers located the driver, who appeared to be “extremely intoxicated,” Callister said. He told authorities he crashed when he lost control of the truck after one of the front tires blew, which sent the pickup veering left until it smashed into the concrete median.

According to the results of the breathalyzer test later administered at the scene, Callister said the suspect had a blood alcohol content of .331, which is four times over the legal limit.

GMC pickup truck rests against the median of northbound Interstate 15 just south of the Utah-Arizona border, Mohave County, Ariz., Aug. 29, 2021 | Submitted photo, St. George News

It was very fortunate, the trooper said, that the crash only involved the suspect’s vehicle and that no other cars or injuries were involved. The vehicle was towed from the scene and the driver was later cited for suspicion of driving under the influence.

Meanwhile, with one northbound travel lane completely blocked, a backup of traffic began piling up behind the crash as responders worked to clear debris and remove the disabled vehicle from the roadway.

Three hours before responding to the crash involving the alleged DUI driver, Callister said a rollover involving a stolen pickup truck was reported on I-15 near the Port of Entry in Arizona. In that crash, a pickup truck rolled multiple times, and the driver was no longer at the scene when authorities arrived. The driver was arrested several hours later at his home in Washington City on a stolen vehicle report, and he was later booked into jail facing felony theft and burglary charges.

Shortly after clearing the DUI crash, troopers responded to another crash just before 1 p.m. MDT involving a pickup towing a trailer and a Toyota Highlander driven by an older man who was traveling south on the interstate with his wife.

At the time of the crash, the driver of the pickup changed lanes in front of the Toyota, but when he did so, Callister said the trailer side-swiped the SUV and sent the vehicle careening across the roadway.

The couple inside were both unharmed, he added, but the pickup driver failed to stop or remain at the scene following the crash, and it was subsequently documented as a hit-and-run incident.

This report is based on statements from court records, police or other responders and may not contain the full scope of findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

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

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!