ST. GEORGE — A driver was flown to the hospital Wednesday evening following a rollover crash that trapped the motorist in a minivan, which was found at the bottom of a steep ravine off state Route 7.

A minivan is destroyed in a single-vehicle crash on state Route 7 in Washington County, Utah, Nov. 29, 2023 | Photo courtesy of Hurricane Valley Fire and Rescue, St. George News

Shortly after 6:15 p.m. Wednesday, Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Cameron Roden told St. George News the crash was reported on SR-7 near mile marker 16, just west of Sand Hollow Road in a remote area of Washington County, where emergency personnel found a minivan that had rolled off the roadway and trapped a 20-year-old woman inside.

First to arrive at the scene, deputies with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office said the van was found at the bottom of a steep ravine and more than 100 feet off the roadway, according to information posted by Hurricane Valley Fire and Rescue.

Fire crews made their way to the bottom of the canyon. Once they stabilized the minivan, the driver was extricated from the vehicle. Then, using a rope system, they pulled the woman to the top of the embankment. She was then flown by Life Flight to St. George Regional Hospital in serious condition.

At the time of the crash, the woman was heading east on SR-7, and for reasons not yet determined, she failed to negotiate a curve in the roadway, Roden said, adding that the minivan went off the embankment and rolled multiple times.

According to information obtained by investigators, the driver appeared to be upset just before the crash, which may have led to her being distracted when she encountered the curve in the roadway. However, Roden said this was preliminary information only and the incident is still under investigation.

While the driver was being treated by emergency medical personnel on the ground, the highway was shut down in both directions to allow the Life Flight helicopter to land. Shortly after 7:15 p.m., when the helicopter was heading to the hospital, SR-7 was opened for travel.

The minivan was destroyed in the crash. It was pulled from the ravine and towed from the roadway. Traffic was impacted intermittently for nearly an hour while the rescue operation was taking place.

The Utah Highway Patrol, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Hurricane Valley Fire and Rescue and Intermountain Life Flight responded and tended to the scene. UHP was tasked with conducting the crash investigation.

This report is based on statements from police, emergency personnel or other responders and may not contain the full scope of findings. 

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