ST. GEORGE — A 17-year-old fell asleep at the wheel early Saturday morning, drifting across oncoming traffic before driving off the road. His Ford Bronco rolled onto the driver’s side, where it came to rest.
The teen was traveling eastbound on state Route 56 near mile marker 58 when he fell asleep at approximately 7:30 a.m.
He was not wearing a seatbelt and hit his head on the windshield, sustaining a small laceration of his forehead. He initially requested medical assistance but declined it on arrival, Utah Highway Patrol Sergeant Bambi Baie said.
“The mom and dad came on scene and the three of them said he was fine,” Baie told Cedar City News. “They weren’t going to seek medical attention unless anything changed.”
The driver simply said he was tired to explain his fatigue. He was the lone occupant of the vehicle and was not suspected of being under the influence of any substances. Witnesses traveling westbound said the Bronco unexpectedly veered in their direction and off the north side of the road.
Baie said she would be sending the incident to the county attorney for screening since the driver was fatigued and not wearing a seat belt. She did not issue any citations on-scene. The driver was said to be going at the speed limit of 55 mph.
The Bronco sustained significant damage to its entire driver side, its front and front-left corner. The driver’s personal items were strewn across the brush.
The vehicle was removed from the road and traffic was light at the time of the accident, leaving it uninterrupted.
Weather was not a factor in the accident, Baie said. The roads were wet but did not contribute to the incident.
“His head did impact the windshield pretty good,” Baie said. “But he only had a very small injury, a small laceration to the head and that’s it. Thank heavens he was OK.”
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