Police: Prius driver goes through red light, crashes into tree

A Toyota Prius is heavily damaged after crashing into a tree on Dixie Drive, St. George, Utah, May 17, 2018 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A woman who police say was experiencing a medical episode drove through a red light and crashed into a tree on Dixie Drive Thursday afternoon.

Police investigate the scene of a crash on Dixie Drive, St. George, Utah, May 17, 2018 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

St. George Police responded to the crash involving a red Toyota Prius at approximately 1:10 p.m. at the intersection of 1600 South and Dixie Drive.

At the time of the crash, the woman driving the Prius was stopped at the red light in the inside southbound lane, St. George Police officer David McDaniel said.

“She had a sudden medical episode of some sort,” McDaniel said. “She went unconscious – lost control of the vehicle.

“From a witness’s statement, she just kind of fell over all the sudden while she was sitting at the light.”

The witness told police it appeared the woman put her foot on the throttle, McDaniel said, adding that the car went through the intersection “from a dead stop straight into the tree.”

A tree is damaged following a crash on Dixie Drive, St. George, Utah, May 17, 2018 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

Fortuitously, no vehicles were waiting in the northbound side of the intersection as the Prius went through both lanes of the road before hitting the tree just south of the intersection.

The woman was wearing a seat belt and suffered minor injuries as a result of the crash.

“We’re more worried about what caused the medical issue,” McDaniel said. “Don’t know if it’s stroke or heart attack or some other medical issue. Impairment has been ruled out.”

Medical personnel from Gold Crash Ambulance worked to stabilize her on scene then transported her to Dixie Regional Medical Center for further treatment.

A Toyota Prius is heavily damaged after crashing into a tree on Dixie Drive, St. George, Utah, May 17, 2018 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

The Toyota’s airbags did not deploy during the collision with the tree, and the car sustained heavy damage to its front driver’s side.

“The tire actually punched through the floorboard because it took all the force to that floorboard area,” McDaniel said, describing the damage.

Pieces of the vehicle were strewn about on the street, sidewalk and an adjacent field. The crash also took out a large chunk of the tree, its outer bark frayed and inner trunk exposed and chipped.

A wrecker towed the disabled Toyota from the scene.

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

Email: jwitham@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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2 Comments

  • mmsandie May 18, 2018 at 9:58 am

    What a Toyota crashed and air bags didn’t deploy, don,t think I.ll buy a Toyota..once again it’s medical reasons..if she was taking medicine,, read the bottle that says don’t drive when taking this medicine,, drs should be held responsible fior over prescribing medicine.

    • comments May 18, 2018 at 7:58 pm

      yea, that is kinda freaky. i expect better from toyota.

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