ST. GEORGE — Utah Highway Patrol troopers remained at the scene of a jackknifed semitractor-trailer on Interstate 15 for nearly four hours during a rainstorm Wednesday night.
Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Jeff Adams told St. George News that shortly after 8:20 p.m., troopers and emergency personnel were dispatched to an “unknown crash” reported on southbound I-15 just south of the Toquerville exit near mile marker 27 involving a semi.
Troopers arrived to find the 2017 Kenworth semi jackknifed along the grassy median with the trailer blocking the left lane of travel and a 70-year-old driver who was uninjured at the scene, Adams said.
The Utah Department of Transportation’s Incident Management Team also responded to assist while troopers spoke to the driver to determine how the semi ended up where it was found.
Adams said the driver told troopers that he was heading south in heavy rain with a trailer that was loaded with three pallets of empty plastic paint containers. With the truck hauling so little weight, the driver said the nearly empty trailer lost traction with the roadway and started to hydroplane, causing the trailer to start skidding in one direction while the cab was sent in another direction.
The driver lost control as the truck was pushed off the left shoulder and down a small embankment where it came to rest on the grassy median with the trailer blocking the left lane.
At some point the rear doors of the trailer came open, and the load of empty paint containers spilled across the median. Once the load was cleared from the interstate and the cab and trailer were separated, the trailer was towed from the roadway while the cab remained intact.
Troopers remained at the scene until the semi was removed from the roadway and the scene was cleared, an operation that was not completed until after midnight.
No other cars were involved, and troopers determined that speed was not a factor in the crash. No citations were issued following the incident.
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