NEW HARMONY – A Syracuse couple traveling to St. George for a funeral spun out on Interstate 15 after hitting a wall of unexpected rain and hydroplaning Thursday.
“We just went a half a turn and then hit the guard rail and slid backwards,” Michael Colvin, the vehicle’s owner, said. “The car and the guardrail, everything did what it was supposed to do.”
The accident was called in at about 12:56 p.m. by multiple motorists who saw the incident occur, Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Christopher Sean Lewis said.
The Colvins were traveling south on I-15 in the left lane when the sudden water caused the red Nissan Altima to hydroplane near milepost 39 by New Harmony, Lewis said.
When he stepped on the brake, Colvin said, he lost control of the vehicle and started to spin counterclockwise before being caught by the median.
“He was just going south and when it started dumping he said there was a lot of water on the road real fast,” Lewis said.
The couple had been driving for nearly four hours and had almost reached their destination, Colvin’s wife said. The whole thing was a blur to her.
“I just closed my eyes and called out and said, ‘Heavenly Father protect us,’” she said bursting into tears. “It was the only thing I could do – ‘protect us, protect us.’”
They were not injured, the Colvins said, despite the fact that the airbags did not deploy.
The couple refused medical assistance on the scene and chose to ride into St. George with the tow truck driver where, they said, family was waiting to greet them.
In situations where there is enough water on the road that a motorist could find himself in a similar situation, Lewis said, the most important thing is not to panic. Slowly bring the vehicle to a stop by decreasing on the gas, while avoiding the urge to slam on the brake he said.
“Don’t panic, is probably the biggest thing,” he said. “Because when you panic, you are going to try to do some evasive actions that you probably don’t need to do that are going to cause the crash to be worse than probably what it would be.”
There were no other vehicles involved in the collision, Lewis said. There were no citations issued.
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