Man arrested for DUI following 2 related crashes on I-15 in Iron County

File photo of a Utah Highway Patrol vehicle, Iron County, Utah, Aug. 27, 2022 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — A man suspected of driving while impaired crashed his vehicle on Interstate 15 in Southern Utah on Tuesday afternoon, which in turn led to a secondary collision that seriously injured another driver, police said.

Utah Highway Patrol Lt. Randy Riches told Cedar City News that both crashes were reported shortly before 2 p.m. on southbound Interstate 15 near mile marker 85.

“Both were reported as rollovers but neither one ended up being a rollover,” Riches said.

The initial crash involved a passenger vehicle that drifted into a semitractor-trailer, which caused the car to be deflected into the median, Riches said. 

Soon thereafter, the secondary crash occurred when a passing driver in a van stopped to assist, pulling off to the left side of the roadway.

“But then, they decided to re-enter I-15 and pulled in front of a semi traveling southbound and got struck from behind at a pretty significant speed, pushing them off the left side of the road,” Riches said.

Riches said the van’s driver sustained “moderate to significant” injuries and was flown via medical helicopter to a hospital. 

“When he was flown, he was in stable condition and (his injuries) don’t appear to be life threatening,” Riches added.

Meanwhile, the driver of the first vehicle that crashed was evaluated on scene by medical personnel but was not transported to the hospital, Riches said.

“He actually was arrested for DUI,” Riches said.

The arrested man’s name and details of his criminal charges were not yet available as of Tuesday evening.

Unrelated crash 

Shortly before 5 p.m. Tuesday, an unrelated two-car collision was reported on northbound I-15 near mile marker 38, in the northernmost part of Washington County.

Scene of a two-car collision on northbound Interstate 15 near mile marker 38, Washington County, Utah, March 14, 2023 | Photo courtesy of New Harmony Fire Department, St. George News

That crash, which occurred during heavy rains that had made the road’s surface slick, involved a silver BMW passenger car and a yellow Volkswagen Beetle. Both cars ended up just off the right shoulder of the roadway.

Officials with New Harmony Fire Department said the BMW driver was transported to Cedar City Hospital for treatment of minor injuries. 

Both cars sustained significant damage and needed to be towed from the scene. 

This report is based on preliminary  statements from law enforcement officials and may not contain the full scope of findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2023, all rights reserved.

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