Motorcyclist flown to hospital after slamming into SUV on rural Iron County highway

A motorcycle is damaged following a crash on state Route 20 in Iron County, Utah, April 18, 2019 | Photo courtesy of Utah Highway Patrol, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A motorcyclist was seriously injured Thursday afternoon after hitting an SUV on state Route 20 in Iron County.

Emergency personnel responded to the crash involving a 56-year-old man riding a motorcycle and a 37-year-old woman driving a Buick Enclave with three occupants near milepost 13 on SR-20 at 4:30 p.m.

At the time of the crash, the motorcyclist was behind the SUV as they were both eastbound on the highway that connects Interstate 15 to U.S. Route 89.

Utah Highway Patrol Cpl. Andrew Battenfield said the driver of the SUV began to slow down with the intent to turn left into a pullout. Not realizing the vehicle was slowing to make a turn, Battenfield said the motorcyclist attempted to pass the SUV on the left.

As the motorcyclist merged into the westbound lane to make the pass, the driver of the SUV turned in front of him, at which point the motorcycle glanced off the rear driver’s side, throwing the rider from the bike.

The rear end of a Buick Enclave is damaged after a motorcycle crashed into it on state Route 20 in Iron County, Utah, April 18, 2019 | Photo courtesy of Utah Highway Patrol, St. George News

Considering the severity of his injuries, a medical helicopter was dispatched to the location to fly the motorcyclist to Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George. No one in the SUV was injured.

As of Friday evening, Battenfield said the motorcyclist is in stable condition with “pretty significant injuries” and he is scheduled for surgery.

Battenfield said speed is not considered a factor in the crash.

“The timing was just bad,” he said.

The road was temporarily closed in both directions while the medical helicopter landed. Both the motorcycle and SUV were heavily damaged and had to be towed from the scene.

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

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