TOQUERVILLE – One person is dead and one was transported to the hospital Monday morning after the black Chevrolet Blazer they were in went off a dirt road and into a ravine near Toquerville Falls recreation area sometime during the night.
Emergency responders were dispatched to the area of Spring Drive, a dirt road between state Route 17 and Toquerville Falls, after a call for help came in sometime after 6 a.m. Monday, Washington County Sheriff’s Deputy Brock Bentley said. The Sheriff’s Department cites the location of the crash at GPS coordinates 37.293000 -113.257600.
The male driver, 21-year-old Mark James Wyler, from St. George, called 911 to report that he had rolled his vehicle, and that his girlfriend might be deceased, a statement issued by the Sheriff’s Office around 12:30 p.m. said.
When deputies arrived, they found that 20-year-old Cierra Perez, from Santa Clara, had died of injuries in the accident. Search and Rescue volunteers assisted in recovering her body from the bottom of the ravine.
Wyler was transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George, Bentley said, and confirmed the crash had occurred sometime during the night. Wyler’s injuries were not life-threatening.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, investigators do not believe those involved in the crash were wearing seat belts.
The vehicle went off a cliff about 200 feet from the road, the statement said, and about 100 feet down in rugged terrain.
Vehicle recovery was ongoing throughout the morning. Winder Towing undertook the effort first using a winch from an old Suzuki off-road type vehicle to attempt to extract the vehicle from the canyon, then brought in a heavier tow truck to continue the effort. Although the cable either came loose or snapped around 10:40 a.m., the Blazer was out of the canyon and on the road for tow by 12:15 p.m.
Washington County Sheriff’s Office and Utah Highway Patrol, assisting, are continuing to investigate the cause of the accident and whether alcohol played a role.
About Toquerville Falls
Toquerville Falls is a popular swimming and recreation area located on LaVerkin Creek. The falls are 5.8 miles from the City of Toquerville on a rough dirt track.
St. George News Editor-in-Chief Joyce Kuzmanic, reporter-videographer Sheldon Demke and reporter Julie Applegate contributed to this report.
Ed. note – correction to video: Video anchor refers to Winsor Towing; that reference is to Winder Towing.
This is a developing story and may be updated as further details emerge.
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