Brake malfunction, poorly marked road construction cited as factors in collision

ST. GEORGE – One person went to the hospital and one vehicle was towed from the scene Tuesday afternoon after a Saturn VUE rear-ended a Chevy truck at 1100 W. Sunset Blvd. in St. George.

Accident at 1100 W. Sunset Blvd., St. George, Utah, Oct. 14, 2014 | Photo by Cami Cox Jim, St. George News
Accident at 1100 W. Sunset Blvd., St. George, Utah, Oct. 14, 2014 | Photo by Cami Cox Jim, St. George News

Just before 4 p.m., eastbound traffic on Sunset Boulevard was halted due to road construction, St. George Police Officer Vincent Lusk said. As the driver of the Saturn VUE approached the halted traffic, she was unable to stop and struck the Chevy truck in front of her.

“The female that was driving the rear vehicle, she had the vehicle in third gear, estimated travel about 30 miles an hour,” Lusk said. “(She) put it in neutral and hit the brakes, and her vehicle just didn’t stop. She said it was a malfunction in her brakes. She rear-ended the gentleman in the truck that was in front of her.”

Megan Jessee, the driver of the Saturn, said she slammed on her brakes as she approached the truck but her vehicle kept going.

“They were stopped in front of me and I was in gear – I drive a stick – and it was in gear, and I tried slamming on my brakes and it wouldn’t stop, and I completely rear-ended them,” Jessee said.

Dan Kennedy, the driver of the Chevy truck, said the road construction on Sunset Boulevard was inadequately marked and there wasn’t enough warning for drivers to slow down, which he felt was a factor in the accident.

After the collision occurred, Kennedy was able to move his truck to the side of the road. Jessee’s vehicle, which sustained significant front-end damage and was disabled as a result of the accident, remained in the inside eastbound lane until a tow truck removed it about an hour later.

Kennedy, who was traveling with one passenger in his vehicle at the time of the collision, was complaining of back pain after the crash. Gold Cross Ambulance responded to the scene, but Kennedy refused transport and was ultimately taken to the hospital by the passenger who had been riding in the truck with him. Though Kennedy’s truck sustained some damage from the accident, it was drivable and he and his passenger were able to leave the scene in it.

Jessee said she didn’t believe she had sustained any injuries as a result of the accident. She was issued a citation for following too close, Lusk said.

Accident at 1100 W. Sunset Blvd., St. George, Utah, Oct. 14, 2014 | Photo by Cami Cox Jim, St. George News
Accident at 1100 W. Sunset Blvd., St. George, Utah, Oct. 14, 2014 | Photo by Cami Cox Jim, St. George News

Lusk said the accident caused some traffic impediments as the scene was cleaned up but wasn’t halted altogether.

“It was slowed due to the accident, but as far as movement it was still flowing good,” he said.

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

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  • Bobber October 14, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    I see those Oregon plates, but she drives like she’s local. she was probably twiddling with an iphone.

  • Bobber October 14, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    if ur paying attn u just reach down grab the hand brake. a brake failure is possible but unlikely esp on a newer car. more likely iphone caused…

  • Wally October 15, 2014 at 6:36 am

    From the photos it looks like the construction ahead (way ahead) was properly marked. But if someone was speeding, not paying attention and following too close, then running into the back of another vehicle is very possible. Which is what happened here. Case closed.

  • Floyd Kitchen October 15, 2014 at 6:42 am

    Another excuse. Good One….

  • sagemoon October 15, 2014 at 8:28 am

    That stretch of road has been a pain in the butt in the morning on my commute to work. Traffic gets backed up way before there are any signs of construction. I hope they finish soon.

  • dee October 15, 2014 at 10:01 am

    My mom was almost hit by her but she managed to step on the gas and got out just in time. She said it seem the car sped up.

  • Phil October 15, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    One says in gear, one says in neutral , then slammed on the brakes. Very different stopping ability if failed to use clutch. Not buying brake malfunction. Driver malfunction.

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