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Virgin River Gorge Arizona Car Accident

Deadly Wrong-Way, Head-On Accident in Virgin River Gorge

Jonathan V. O'Steen

May 12, 2020

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Mohave County, Arizona—A minivan traveling south in the northbound lanes of Interstate 15 struck several other vehicles before smashing head-on into a pickup near Cedar Pocket Recreation Area on Monday morning.  

The Arizona Department of Public Safety reports that the 39-year-old male driver of a Chrysler minivan from the St. George area first sideswiped a Hyundai Elantra, a Toyota Corolla and a Ford Explorer.  The minivan then struck the center median before crashing head-on into a Ford F-250.

Unconfirmed reports of empty alcohol containers in the minivan lead authorities to suspect the driver was impaired.  It is not known whether he entered the freeway from an on-ramp or if he made a u-turn.  He was transported by ground to Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George where he was pronounced dead.

Two occupants of the Ford F-250 were also transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center.  A male was transported by ground by the Mesquite Fire Department.  A 74-year-old woman was air evacuated by Intermountain Life Flight helicopter with a suspected hip fracture.  No occupants of the Elantra, Corolla or Explorer were transported for treatment, though some did experience minor injuries.

Authorities did not release the names of anyone involved.  The Arizona Department of Transportation closed northbound I-15 in the Virgin River Gorge for two hours.  Fire departments from Beaver Dam/Littlefield and Mesquite responded.

We extend our condolences to the decedent’s family and friends.  We wish swift and full recoveries for the injured.

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