LEEDS – Travel on southbound Interstate 15 through Leeds was reduced to a crawl due to crashes in chain-reaction that started with a suspected DUI incident Thursday afternoon.
Around 2:25 p.m., near milepost 22 on southbound I-15, a man driving a pickup truck was reported to be weaving in and out of traffic until crashing into the guardrail, Utah Highway patrol Trooper Mark Cooper said.
The man involved in the incident, later identified as a resident of Bountiful, was arrested and taken to the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility. He faces misdemeanor charges related to driving under the influence of alcohol and having an open container of alcohol in his vehicle.
As the truck was partially in the roadway, traffic began to slow to avoid it and the emergency responders who had been dispatched to the scene.
A second crash occurred while traffic was slowing.
A black Ford passenger car began to slow, causing a Winnebago RV to slow behind it. However, a white GMC truck behind the Winnebago did not slow and stop in time, resulting in a crash involving all three vehicles.
The Ford passenger car received some damage to its rear end, but was able to be driven away. The Winnebago and GMC did not fare as well.
The front and back ends of the RV were damaged, with the rear of the Winnebago receiving the more visible damage. The front of the white GMC was decimated. Both had to be towed from the scene.
Everyone involved was wearing a seat belt and there were minor injuries involved, Cooper said.
One woman, a passenger in the Winnebago, was taken to Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George by ambulance due to needing stitches for a cut to her head.
Any citations to be issued related to the three-car crash are pending, Cooper said.
While the second crash was being handled, another rear-end collision occurred between a Jeep and the back of a semitrailer north of the crash scene, Cooper said. He did not comment on the condition of those involved in the third collision.
This report is based on statements from witnesses and may not contain the full scope of findings.
ED. NOTE – CLARIFICATION: This report initially published with a photo above the headline that included a Jones Paint and Glass company vehicle, an unfortunate coupling on the part of St. George News that led to a misinference by some that the DUI suspect in this story was somehow associated with Jones Paint and Glass, a St. George business. Such is not the case.
The DUI suspect was driving the vehicle in the first crash. The Jones vehicle was involved in the second crash.
The subject photo and associated media have been removed to eliminate further confusion. Photos from the first and third crashes were not obtained or immediately available at publication.
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