ST. GEORGE – A 19-year-old male driving southbound on Interstate-15 this evening had a single vehicle accident in the area of Mile Marker 6, during the thunderstorm.
The driver told Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Jake Hicks that he lost control of his vehicle and it hydroplaned. Hicks said the vehicle hit a cement barrier on the right, spun around and hit a cement barrier on the left, and came to a halt in the traffic lanes. He said that people stopped and helped the driver push his car out of traffic and onto the median. Then the young man left the scene.
The St. George Fire Department was dispatched and reported to Hicks that nobody was present with the vehicle when they arrived.
Hicks said the “parents arrived on scene a little bit later and told him where (their son) was.” Hicks was able to reach him and hook up with him at a church event he was attending.
“No other vehicles hit him,” Hicks said, “which is quite a miracle given the amount of traffic there was at that time.”
The driver was cited for failure to operate in one lane. Hicks said he did not cite him for hit and run, even though he abandoned the vehicle, because that was not the young man’s intent. He said the crash did endanger others and therefore a citation was appropriate.
St. George News posted and tweeted to readers earlier in the evening to turn off cruise control in the rain, it can cause a vehicle to hydroplane. Hicks could not say if that was the cause in this incident but agreed with the watchword.
As a general principle, it is advisable to wait for emergency and law enforcement responders to remove a vehicle from roads and highways when traffic is present.
Copyright 2012 St. George News.