WASHINGTON — A two-car crash became a five-car pileup, keeping troopers and emergency personnel busy on Interstate 15 Thursday afternoon.
A family of 12, along with numerous other drivers, was stranded after being involved in the multivehicle collision.
At approximately 2 p.m. officers were dispatched to a crash on Interstate 15 northbound just south of Exit 13. Once emergency personnel arrived they found two crashes that involved a total of five vehicles, Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Chris Lewis said.
The first crash involved a turquoise Mercury Sable and a blue Dodge Dakota pickup truck, Lewis said. It was triggered by debris that had fallen in the left hand lane of the interstate.
Several vehicles were stopped in front of the debris, and the man driving the Sable was able to safely stop behind the other vehicles. The man driving the Dodge, however, was unable to stop in time and rear ended the Sable.
“It was a low impact collision,” Lewis said, “because the man driving the pickup hit his brakes, so by the time he struck the other car he was going approximately 10 to 15 miles per hour.”
The second crash occurred right after the first. As both disabled vehicles were stalled in the roadway immediately after the collision, a white Ford Transit XLT van traveling northbound came upon the first crash and was unable to stop in time. A Nissan Xterra SUV directly behind the Ford van was also unable to stop in time.
A third vehicle, a red Dodge Ram pickup truck pulling a trailer, came up behind the Nissan and was unable to stop in time to avoid a crash, striking the Nissan which pushed the Nissan into the Ford, Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Seth Spencer said.
The trailer came loose and separated from the Dodge when the truck collided with the Nissan, and fishtailed before it came to rest a few feet away.
The force of the impact was enhanced by the weight of the truck and trailer, causing extensive damage to the Nissan that was sandwiched in between the truck and van, one witness at the scene said.
All vehicles were moved to Exit 13 as traffic began to backup, since both lanes were temporarily blocked initially. Several vehicle occupants were checked by emergency medical responders at the scene with some reporting minor injuries, however all refused transport to the hospital, Lewis said.
A family of 12 traveling in the van were on their way to Zion National Park when the crash occurred. They were visiting from Louisiana, one of the passengers in the van said. All reported they were uninjured in the crash.
Utah Department of Public Safety, Gold Cross Ambulance and the Utah Department of Transportation’s Incident Management Team responded and tended to the scene.
An investigation into the two crashes is underway.
This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement or first responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.
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