MILLARD COUNTY – A 23-year-old man died Wednesday during a semitrailer-versus-car collision in a construction zone on Interstate 15, near milepost 170, 5 miles north of Fillmore.
At approximately 12:30 a.m., a red 2004 Honda civic, occupied by one man, identified as Derek J. White, of Sammamish, Washington, was traveling north on I-15.
According to a news release issued by the Utah Highway Patrol, White had just entered the construction zone (between Fillmore and South Holden) where the right lane is closed and traffic is restricted to the left.
White got himself in trouble when he drifted to the left edge of the roadway and then overcorrected to the right.
“The driver steered sharply back to the left and the car began to rotate as it left the roadway towards the median,” UHP said in the press statement. “After leaving the roadway, the driver again steered sharply to the right and the car began to rotate clockwise and come back towards the northbound travel lanes.”
The Honda Civic then re-entered the northbound lanes going backwards before coming to a stop, sideways, in the left-hand travel lane.
A short time later, the driver of a semitrailer, also traveling north through the construction zone, didn’t realize the Honda Civic was disabled in the travel lane, UHP said, and smashed into the driver’s door of the car.
“Both vehicles left the road to the right, went through the right of way fence and came to a stop on the frontage road,” UHP said in the statement. “The vehicles then caught on fire.”
White became pinned in the Honda Civic and died as a result of the collision.
The Utah Department of Transportation construction project White encountered began in August and is slated for completion in October.
It runs from milepost 168.42 to milepost 173 on I-15 between Fillmore and South Holden and aims at extending the life of the pavement and improving soft spots. This week, single-lane traffic operations are in place as the contractor is rotomilling and paving, according to UDOT’s project Web page. Sign installation is also underway.
This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.
St. George News Editor-in-Chief contributed to this report.
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