ST. GEORGE — One person went to the hospital after three vehicles were badly damaged in a collision on state Route 18 Thursday evening north of Dammeron Valley.

The scene of a three-car collision near mile marker 15 of state Route 18, Dammeron Valley, Utah, Dec. 28, 2023 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News

Battalion Chief Ryan D’Ambrosio at Dammeron Valley Fire and Rescue told St. George News that the scene of the collision — right on the highway near mile marker 15 — is a familiar one to emergency responders in the area.

“Especially this time during the day, this is rush hour for us here at SR-18,” D’Ambrosio said. “Everybody’s going home, going a little fast because they want to get home, right?”

D’Ambrosio said that the emergency call went out shortly after 4 p.m.

“Upon arrival, we had three vehicles involved, unknown number of patients,” he said. “So a total of two ambulances were on this assignment as well as an additional engine company out of Santa Clara-Ivins.”

Once responders were on the scene and talked to the participants, D’Ambrosio said, they discovered that there was only one patient with non-life-threatening injuries, and that patient was transported to St. George Hospital.

“In the past, we’ve seen multiple accidents up here that have been deadly,” D’Ambrosio said. “So we just want to caution everybody. Watch your speed. It’s the holidays. We enjoy you being here with us and not in the hospital.”

Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Joe Pastor confirmed more details about the crash with Cedar City News.

“There was a Toyota Tacoma pickup that was traveling northbound on SR-18,” Pastor said. “It attempted to pass a Toyota Highlander on the left. That Toyota Highlander was preparing to make a left-hand turn as well.”

The scene of a three-car collision near mile marker 15 of state Route 18, Dammeron Valley, Utah, Dec. 28, 2023 | Photo courtesy Dammeron Valley Fire and Rescue, St. George News

As the Highlander was making the turn, Pastor added, the Tacoma made an improper pass to the left, which clipped the front left corner of the Highlander. That caused the Tacoma to roll into the southbound lanes, where it hit a southbound Toyota Sienna.

Pastor said a passenger in the Sienna was the one patient transported to the hospital with minor injuries.

“The driver of the Toyota Tacoma that made the improper pass had minor injuries but was checked by medical on scene and released,” Pastor said, noting that the driver of the Tacoma was also cited for making an improper pass.

Traffic going north and south on SR-18 was reduced to one lane as emergency personnel responded and cleared the scene. Tow trucks arrived for all three vehicles and normal traffic flow had yet to be restored about an hour after the crash.

This report is based on statements by emergency personnel and may not include the full scope of the findings of the investigation, which D’Ambrosio said is ongoing.

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