Woman suffers head injuries when car hydroplanes, rolls

Dodge Stratus hydroplanes and rolls on southbound Interstate 15 south of New Harmony, Utah, May 5, 2015 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News

NEW HARMONY – A woman in her early 20s was rushed to Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George Tuesday night with head and face injuries suffered when she rolled her car in the rain after her vehicle hydroplaned in the rain and she overcorrected.

The woman, who was by herself traveling south on Interstate 15 in a white Dodge Stratus, wrecked somewhere between mileposts 35 and 36 just south of New Harmony. Though she had Iowa plates, officers on the scene said they were unsure if she was from Iowa and traveling through, or if she lives somewhere in the area.

The call came into dispatch at about 7:40 p.m., Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Taj Eldredge said. A Good Samaritan helped her out of her vehicle before troopers arrived, he said.

Both Washington County Sheriff’s Office and New Harmony Fire Department assisted UHP at the scene.

The Stratus lost control when the woman tried to fix her path after hitting a puddle, he said. It rolled once and landed right side up, facing west in the embankment on the right side of the Interstate, he said. There were no other vehicles involved.

“According to our investigation she wasn’t on drugs and she wasn’t impaired or anything,” Eldredge said. “She just hit a puddle and hydroplaned and swerved; and just the road conditions and the weather forced her vehicle off of the side of the road.”

The accident occurred in moderate rain, Eldredge said. In situations like the one this woman encountered Tuesday night, it is important that a driver remain calm and refrain from using the brakes, he said.

“Just come to as slow of a stop as you can and just ease your way slower so that you don’t end up overcorrecting,” he said.

Even though the speed limit on I-15 is 80 mph, the trooper said, it is important to drive at a speed appropriate for the weather conditions. Slowing down can help save lives.

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