BROWSE – Utah Highway Patrol arrested a man for driving under the influence and aggravated assault Saturday evening after he and his wife had an altercation while traveling on Interstate 15, she exited their moving vehicle and he crashed their car down an embankment.
Just before 6 p.m., Cody Cummings, of St. George, and his wife were traveling northbound on I-15 in a Mitsubishi Eclipse on their way to Salt Lake City when they got into an altercation and left the freeway via the Browse Exit, UHP Trooper Mike Murphy said.
According to statements UHP obtained through interviews with Cummings and his wife, the two entered the Browse off-ramp and Cummings’ wife allegedly began attempting to jump out of the car while Cummings tried to keep her from jumping out, Murphy said. At some point, the woman exited the car, but UHP had not determined at the scene whether Cummings pushed her out of the vehicle or if she jumped.
At some point after the woman exited the vehicle, the car, driven by Cummings, collided with the guardrail on the right side of the road just before the overpass and then swerved across both lanes and careened down an embankment, coming to a rest among some Cedar trees.
“I don’t know if he flipped around or bounced off the guardrail,” Murphy said.
Witnesses told troopers they called 911 after they saw Cummings’ wife walking between the frontage road and I-15. UHP, Washington County Sheriff’s Office and Leeds Ambulance responded to the scene.
Both Cummings and his wife were found outside of the vehicle. Each suffered minor injuries; Cummings had a small abrasion on his temple but stated that he was all right, Murphy said.
“He admitted to everything,” Murphy said. “Alcohol is a possibility.”
The vehicle was towed from the scene.
Cummings was arrested and booked into the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility on one charge of aggravated assault, a third-degree felony; one charge of driving under the influence, a class B misdemeanor; and one charge of improper lane travel, a class C misdemeanor.
According to Utah Criminal Code, Cummings’ aggravated assault charge stems from either committing an assault with a dangerous weapon or with “other means of force likely to produce death or bodily injury.” At the time of this publication, UHP Trooper Lawrence Hopper, acting as public information officer for the Utah Highway Patrol, said he did not know what factors led to the aggravated charge or whether the charge related to allegations that Cummings had pushed his wife from their vehicle.
Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.
Assistant Editor Cami Cox Jim contributed to this report.
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