ST. GEORGE — There was a reported 45 car accidents — including slide offs — on Interstate 15 in Iron County and Washington County Tuesday night. Wednesday morning there were approximately seven accidents reported on local roads in the St. George area. Weather and slick roads were the biggest factor in all of these accidents.
On I-15, specifically in Washington county, 23 accidents, including slide offs, occurred with one injury reported between early Tuesday evening and late Wednesday morning. Also on I-15, specifically in Iron county, 22 accidents were reported with no injuries during the same time frame. There were also multiple partial road closures on I-15 throughout the night between Washington and Iron county, but nothing long term.
Once the cold front brought in snow, wind and ice, early Tuesday evening, accidents started to occur, said Sgt. Todd Royce, Utah Highway Patrol Public Information Officer. The UHP troopers in Southern Utah continued responding to accidents for the rest of the night, and into Wednesday morning Royce said. Finally around 9 a.m. Wednesday morning emergency activity along the I-15 corridor started to calm down and emergency personnel were able to catch up.
“It’s uncalled for down there in the sunny parts of St. George,” Royce said.
Local St. George accidents
Besides I-15, approximately seven traffic accidents occurred Wednesday morning between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. in the St. George area according a statement from the the St. George Police Department. There were no reported injuries with any of these accidents. Also, there were several other property damage incidents including a fire hydrant that was hit, and a tree branch that fell onto a vehicle. On top of these there were several other slide offs with no significant damage reported.
The worst driving conditions along I-15 were reported to be between Exit 27, the Toquerville exit, and Exit 40, the Kolob Canyon exit according to radio dispatches from the Cedar Communications Center. Specifically, a sheet of ice developed in the Black Ridge hill area, where strong winds were also reported causing a nightmare for drivers and emergency personnel.
The worst driving conditions on local St. George streets were reported on the Southeast side of town in the River Road area. The snow in this area was reported to be slightly heavier, and the roads were extremely slick.
Hazardous driving conditions are expected to end today throughout Southern Utah as this snow storm is forecasted to move out.
When future storms occur, Royce suggested that drivers slow down and increase their following distance.
“Expect the unexpected,” Royce said. “You know what your driving ability is and you should know what the capabilities of your vehicle are.”
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