ST. GEORGE — A three-car pileup triggered by a driver making a lane change during peak traffic hours on a congested St. George Boulevard kept emergency personnel busy late Thursday afternoon. Minutes later a similar accident occurred less than one mile from the first.
Just after 5:30 p.m. officers responded to a reported three-car collision on East St. George Boulevard near 1000 East. Upon arrival emergency personnel found the vehicles stopped near the median of St. George Boulevard and South 1000 East, St. George Police Public Information Officer Lona Trombley said.
The collision was triggered by an 18-year-old man driving a 2005 Volkswagen GTI, she said.
The driver was looking behind him as he attempted to change lanes, Trombley said, while at the same time traffic in front of him was slowing down.
Once the driver saw traffic slowing in front of him it was too late. Despite his efforts to slam on the brakes the man hit a white 2008 Ford pickup in front of him, launching that vehicle into a 2010 Honda minivan.
“The man driving the Volkswagen was trying to move over so he wasn’t in the lane designated for the freeway,” Trombley said, “but as he made sure he was clear to merge over from behind, traffic was slowing down right in front of him.”
The minivan, driven by a 35-year-old male, sustained minimal damage to the rear of the vehicle. The driver reported no injuries, Trombley said.
The pickup sustained extensive front and rear damage from being hit and then launched into the bumper of the minivan, she said, but the 68-year-old driver of the pickup told emergency personnel he was uninjured. The man’s vehicle was rendered inoperable after the crash and towed from the scene.
The man driving the Volkswagen that triggered the collision was cited for following too close and for not having insurance. His vehicle was impounded after the accident.
All drivers were wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.
Traffic was heavy when the accident occurred and was affected for approximately 45 minutes while emergency personnel tended to the scene.
The St. George Police Department, St. George Fire Department and the Utah Department of Transportation Incident Management Team responded to the collision.
Minutes after the first crash was reported another collision on Red Cliffs Drive sent police officers to an accident scene that involved another driver following too close, Trombley said.
Officers responded to a two-car collision at the intersection of Red Cliffs Drive and North Eastridge Drive where they found two vehicles, a dark blue Hyundai sedan driven by an 18-year-old female, and a silver Toyota Camry.
Trombley said the 58-year-old man driving the Toyota was traveling westbound on Red Cliffs Drive when he was struck from behind as he slowed down nearing an intersection. The driver of the Hyundai was not able to stop in time and hit the Toyota, she said.
No injuries were reported and the teen driver of the Hyundai was cited for following too close and for not having proof of insurance.
Trombley said the teen told officers she was insured, but didn’t have any documentation of coverage in the vehicle at the time of the crash.
Officers were unable to confirm her insurance status at the scene despite their efforts, she said.
That citation can be cleared once proof of coverage is verified, Trombley said.
No injuries were reported, and traffic was impacted for approximately 30 minutes while officers tended to the scene.
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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