ST. GEORGE — Two drivers were injured Wednesday after a high-speed chase in the busy construction zone on Interstate 15 led to a collision.

A traffic cam shows the backed up traffic on northbound Interstate 15 after a crash Wednesday near mile marker 10, Washington, Utah, Jan. 31, 2024 | Photo courtesy of Utah Department of Transportation, St. George News

Northbound traffic through Washington City on I-15 slowed to a crawl for a couple of hours at least after the chase sent two drivers to the hospital and one to jail on multiple counts.

Washington City Police Lieutenant Kory Klotz told St. George News that the chase didn’t end tragically.

“It could have been a lot worse,” Klotz said. “With the workers out there, just doing their jobs, then this guy comes along with willful, wanton destruction. It’s scary to think about what could have happened.”

Klotz reported that a Washington City Police officer in an unmarked cruiser was northbound on I-15 around mile marker 10 or 11 at around 4 p.m.

Out of nowhere, Klotz said, a Nissan 350Z sports car appeared at a high rate of speed, weaving in and out of traffic. Klotz said the officer in the unmarked car suspected that the Nissan was going 100-plus miles per hour.

The officer attempted to pull over the Nissan when “… the suspect just took off on him,” Klotz said.

The car kept swerving recklessly in and out of traffic, Klotz said, as the Nissan approached the construction zone.

People observe the crash site and vehicles sit on the side of northbound Interstate 15 after an incident Wednesday near mile marker 10, Washington, Utah, Jan. 31, 2024 | Photo by Stephanie DeGraw, St. George News

“Due to the potential danger, the officer continued to pursue the Nissan,” Klotz said, noting that the vehicles went about a half-mile into the construction zone before the Nissan swerved back into the travel lane on the highway.

“There was another vehicle, a Trailblazer, that was in the lane and the Nissan went right into the side of it,” Klotz said.

He added that the two vehicles veered right into the concrete median, collided, then crossed back against all lanes of traffic before hitting a concrete barrier and coming to a stop.

The driver of the Nissan needed to be extricated from the vehicle, Klotz said, adding that the Washington City Fire Department handled the extraction. The suspect was taken to St. George Hospital by Gold Cross Ambulance, Klotz said, with reported spinal injuries.

Klotz also said the driver of the Trailblazer was taken to the hospital with possible neck and abdominal issues.

After the driver of the Nissan was released from the hospital, Klotz said, he was taken to jail and cited with multiple counts, including evading police officers, reckless driving, speeding and driving without registration or insurance.

This report is based on statements by law enforcement personnel and may not include the full scope of the findings.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2024, all rights reserved.