ST. GEORGE – The man involved in a rollover on northbound Interstate 15, near milepost 16, Tuesday has died after succumbing to his injuries sustained as a result of the crash, Utah Highway Patrol confirmed Wednesday.
At approximately 2:24 p.m., 80-year-old Lynn Wilde, of Leeds, sustained fatal injuries after the Suzuki Sidekick he was driving went off the right side of the northbound lanes, vaulted off a small cliff and rolled at least two times.
Wilde was ejected out the passenger side window of the Suzuki as it rolled. UHP spokesmen said they believe the man was not wearing his seatbelt at the time of the collision.
Three separate auto collisions reportedly occurred in the area within 20 minutes and 3 miles of each other Tuesday, as a storm was passing through the area. Troopers were attending to two other collisions near milepost 18 when they were called to the scene of the Suzuki rollover.
When troopers responded, they found several cars had slid off the highway onto the shoulder and center divider, and authorities said a woman driving a white Honda Accord may have been involved in the rollover collision.
“We’re not sure if the two made contact,” Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Danny Ferguson said. “We do know that the Honda hit the slush on the hill and started to spin out of control.”
The woman driving the Honda did not suffer any reported injuries, Ferguson said, and remained on scene during the investigation.
Hurricane Fire and Rescue transported Lynn Wilde to Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George in critical condition where he was later pronounced dead.
While the crash is still under investigation as to why the Suzuki left the roadway, reports from the scene indicated heavy amounts of hail and rain on the freeway beginning at mile marker 16.
Wilde’s son Scott Wilde said he wasn’t certain where his father was heading when the rollover occurred. On the rare occasions his father did drive, Scott Wilde said, it was usually to the post office in Leeds or to St. George.
“My dad was not speeding,” he said, “I assure you of that.”
Scott Wilde said his father had just celebrated his 80th birthday on Feb. 1.
“He was able to make it to his 80th birthday by a whole month – that was his goal,” Scott Wilde said. “I was thinking he probably had another 10 years in him but I guess not.”
Lynn Wilde, who leaves behind a wife, 11 children, 28 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, moved from St. George to Leeds about 21 years ago.
“My dad was my dad,” Scott Wilde said. “He and I butted heads a lot but I loved the crap out of him and he’s got a lot of kids that are quite devastated right now – and grandkids and great-grandkids. The family is taking this very hard.”
St. George News Reporter Devan Chavez contributed to this report.
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