APPLE VALLEY – A head-on collision Friday afternoon in Apple Valley left eight people injured, two of them in critical condition.
The accident happened a little before 2 p.m. near milepost 5 at the intersection of state Route 59 and 1600 East.
The accident occurred when a Toyota Tundra pickup truck came over a ridge too fast and didn’t see two stopped cars, Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Danny Ferguson said.
A westbound gray passenger car was stopped to make a left turn onto 1600 East, Ferguson said. Two cars were stopped behind the turning car – a silver Toyota and a white Chrysler. The gray passenger car made the left-turn safely.
At that time, a red Toyota Tundra pickup truck westbound came up too fast behind the cars, Ferguson said. In trying to avoid a rear-end collision the Toyota Tundra clipped the white Chrysler in the left rear side as it turned out around the stopped cars into the eastbound lanes, and hit an eastbound Ford F-150 pickup truck almost head-on. The impact pushed the Toyota Tundra back into the westbound lanes striking the silver Toyota car.
“Right now we’re going off the assumption — which is a pretty good assumption — that the Toyota Tundra caused all of this,” Ferguson said. “I think what you’ve got is possibly speed, too fast, just improper lookout, because he was going around these other cars, he couldn’t stop behind them so he had to go around them, so this is the aftermath of it.”
One of the occupants of the Toyota Tundra had to be transported by Life Flight helicopter to Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George.
Six ambulances were called out to transport the other seven people injured in the incident. Everyone in the white Chrysler was transported by ambulance, and the occupants of both trucks were transported by ambulance as well.
Traffic was stopped in both directions for over an hour while the injured were removed and cleanup of the wreck took place.
“Granted, this is a 65-mph road,” Ferguson said, “but that does not mean that you can always go 65 mph.”
Ferguson was critical of bystanders looking on at the scene of the accident.
“When I got here, we had three fire trucks, several ambulances, obviously … what really concerns me is we had so many bystanders walking in our scene,” Ferguson said. “I know most of them appeared like they were Hildale or Colorado City (people).”
Ferguson said he didn’t have a problem with the emergency responders being on scene.
“We had so many people milling about,” he said. “People don’t understand that if somebody dies in this accident … it’s a full-fledged crime scene, and we can’t have people coming in, kicking debris, spitting in places, moving stuff around, taking stuff out of the cars.”
Ferguson said he got a little irate with some of the people doing those things — and he makes no apologies for it.
“You don’t walk through an accident scene,” Ferguson said.
This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.
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