SUV rolls en route to family Thanksgiving; grandfather, ‘The angels were with us’

A red SUV occupied by two teenagers and two toddlers rolled along Highway 56 near Newcastle, Utah, Nov. 27, 2014 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News

NEWCASTLE — A 17-year-old girl (See update Nov. 28 below) was transported to Valley View Medical Center with a possible foot injury after the red SUV she was riding in rolled over multiple times at mile marker 40 near Newcastle on Highway 56 Thursday.

At 3:10 p.m., emergency responders were dispatched to the SUV rollover. The family was traveling from Nevada, and a 19-year-old woman was driving with a 17-year-old girl and two toddlers as passengers, an Iron County Sheriff’s officer, with a K-9 unit on scene, said.

The family’s father and grandfather, John Lee, was also on scene. He said the mother of the children, his daughter, was driving in front of the SUV in a separate car as the family was traveling in tandem from Las Vegas to Newcastle to have Thanksgiving dinner with him.

“My daughter looked in her rear view mirror and she saw the car starting to swerve back and forth,” Lee said, “and she started screaming in terror.”

A red SUV occupied by two teenagers and two toddlers rolled along Highway 56 near New Castle, New Castle, Utah, Nov. 27, 2014 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News
A red SUV occupied by two teenagers and two toddlers rolled along Highway 56 near Newcastle, Utah, Nov. 27, 2014 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News

The SUV then rolled over one and one-half times, the Iron County Sheriff’s officer said. The 17-year-old girl got her foot trapped under the rearview mirror (See update Nov. 28 below) and was therefore transported by Iron County Ambulance to Valley View Medical Center in Cedar City. No other injuries were reported and all the children were wearing seat belts.

Lee said, on scene after 5 p.m, that other family members went to the hospital and were able to pick up the 17-year-old girl, who was released with no injury (See update Nov. 28 below).

The SUV was totaled in damages after the rollover, the officer said, and no citations were given because the cause of the accident was due to a problem with the vehicle.

“It looks like it’s going to be a vehicle malfunction,” he said. “It looks like the A-arm broke underneath, went out and caused the car to go off.”

Utah Highway Patrol, Iron County Sheriff’s Office, and Iron County Ambulance all responded to the accident.

“The angels were with us, that’s all I can say,” Lee said about the safety of his grandchildren involved in the accident.

This report is based on preliminary information provided by responders and Lee on scene and may not contain the full scope of findings.

St. George News reporter Holly Coombs contributed to this report.

UPDATE – CORRECTION AND CLARIFICATION – Nov. 28 – Crystal Lueck, mother of the children in the red SUV that rolled Thanksgiving afternoon on Highway 56, provided a followup report to St. George News with some clarifications.

The four children involved in the accident were ages 19, 15, 8 and 5. The driver is 19, and the injured passenger is 15, not 17 as first reported.

Lueck said she accompanied her injured 15-year-old to Valley View Medical Center via Iron County Ambulance transport for treatment of injuries her daughter sustained by being pinned under the vehicle, not the rear view mirror as first related by responders on scene.

After unsuccessfully attempting to lift the vehicle off of her daughter’s trapped foot, Lueck said, she dug the dirt out from underneath and around her leg until she was finally freed.

Once at Valley View, Lueck said, her daughter was prepped for emergency surgery to repair the damage to her leg in the accident. She was not released without injury as the initial report stated, but instead is recovering at the hospital, Lueck said. She is expected to remain at Valley View for observation for the next two days.

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1 Comment

  • Bev November 28, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    Prayers for her swift recovery

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