No. 1 cause of local crashes strikes again

A two-vehicle crash in the intersection of North Mall Drive and Red Cliffs Drive injured one person Friday morning, St. George, Utah, April 7, 2017 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A two-vehicle crash near the Red Cliffs Mall sent one vehicle into a traffic signal pole, injuring one person Friday morning.

Two-car crash in the intersection of North Mall Drive and Red Cliffs Drive sends a Suburban crashing into a light pole and spins the Mustang in the middle of the intersection Friday morning, St. George, Utah, Apr. 7, 2017 | Photo by Ron Chaffin, St. George News

Just after 10:30 a.m. emergency personnel responded to a two-vehicle collision that was reported in the intersection of Red Cliffs Drive and North Mall Drive involving a black Chevrolet Suburban and a black Ford Mustang.

Upon arrival officers found the Suburban smashed into the steel pole on the northwest corner of Red Cliffs Drive. The Mustang was severely damaged and stopped in the middle of the eastbound lanes, St. George Police Officer Dave McDaniel said.

Officers found the woman driving the Mustang bleeding from her nose while holding her small child who was uninjured, McDaniel said. The woman driving the Suburban reported no injuries in the crash.

After speaking with the drivers officers determined that the Suburban was in the No. 2 lane heading east and was struck by the westbound Mustang whose driver turned left intent on heading south on North Mall Drive.

“The light went yellow and the mustang went through with the left-hand turn, right in front of the eastbound Suburban without even looking,” McDaniel said.

A black Mustang is towed after a two-vehicle crash in the intersection of North Mall Drive and Red Cliffs Drive Friday morning, St. George, Utah, Apr. 7, 2017 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

The impact sent the Suburban slamming into the pole and the Mustang spinning in the intersection until it came to rest blocking both eastbound lanes of traffic.

The initial call to 911 reported no injuries. Once St. George Fire and officers arrived on scene the woman driving the mustang declined emergency medical care despite the apparent injury to the woman’s nose, McDaniel said.

“An off-duty paramedic stopped to offer the woman aid and she declined, saying she suffered only a bloody nose and didn’t want to go to the hospital,” he added.

Both vehicles were extensively damaged and towed from the scene. The woman driving the Mustang was cited for failing to yield on a left-hand turn.

Failing to yield leads to more crashes in St. George than any other contributing factor, according to a report released by St. George Police Sgt. Craig Harding in February.

“The top three causes of crashes consistently remain the same, which are failing to yield, following too close and lane travel,” Harding said.

In Utah, failing to yield is the second leading contributor to crashes throughout the state, according to data retrieved from the Utah Driver’s Handbook published in 2015.

The top five crash causes in 2015, according to the Utah Department of Motor Vehicles, are :

  • Following too close – 21 percent.
  • Speeding – 17 percent.
  • Failing to keep proper lane – 13 percent.
  • Distracted driving – 9 percent.

This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.


Utah Driver Handbook 2015

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.


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  • comments April 7, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    Civilization intended that a yellow light means ‘prepare to stop’. Stg drivers often interpret a yellow light as ‘hammer down’ or ‘gun it’ and blast right into the intersection on a solid red. Often seems like a drag race. Advice is to wait for a solid read to make ur left or even longer

  • utahdiablo April 7, 2017 at 9:51 pm

    This exact intersection has been a problem for over 12 years and we have complained to Udot over these 12 years at the transportation expo each year as there is NO Dedicated Left Turn Arrow to turn onto Mall Drive from Red Cliffs, right where the impact happened, only one car get through “safely” through each light cycle, thus making turning left almost impossible. The useless Udot people told us they had to have at least 200 cars through that intersection per hour for them to put in a dedicated left turn arrow, and this was a few years ago now WTF???…. do you think maybe you could put in a left arrow now? Maybe do another traffic study?? Earn your pay

  • JJODL April 9, 2017 at 9:59 am

    In the photo it shows a left turn light. I don’t think UDOT has anything to do with this intersection anyway since it is a city street.

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