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1 Dead, 1 Critical After SR-7 Accident In St. George, Utah

Article by Aspen Stoddard, Originally published by St. George News (Utah)

ST. GEORGE — A 32-year-old man was confirmed dead Saturday afternoon following a car accident that occurred near mile marker 3 on state Route 7, also known as Southern Parkway, just west of the River Road on-ramp.

Just after 4 p.m., a man driving a white Chevrolet Corvette with a man riding as passenger was traveling west on SR-7, Utah Highway Patrol Lt. Shawn Hinton said.

“One witness said they were doing 65 and this car passed them like they were standing still,” Hinton said. “We are still investigating the exact speed but believe they were traveling at an excess of 100 miles per hour.”

According to further witness statements given to UHP, the Corvette became airborne as it crossed over the threshold of the River Road structure and then collided with the guardrail on the right side of the road, Hinton said. When the Corvette lowered, it slid approximately 200 feet and then became lodged under the guardrail on the right side of the road, according to a UHP press release.

“It probably took out 100 feet of guardrail,” Hinton said.

The Corvette came to rest sideways off the right side of the road, and as it did so the guardrail came up into the car and impacted the driver’s neck, Hinton said.

UHP, St. George Police, St. George Fire Department and Gold Cross Ambulance responded to the scene. Westbound lanes on SR-7 at the River Road on-ramp were closed for investigation.

The Corvette was a total loss.

The passenger, 27, was extracted from the car and Gold Cross Ambulance transported him to Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George with a broken arm and in critical condition, Hinton said.

The driver of the Corvette was confirmed dead at the scene.

Both the driver and passenger appeared to have been wearing their seat belts, according to the press release.

The identity of the driver has not been confirmed and is still under investigation at the time of this publication.

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

UPDATE – written by Cami Cox Jim

ST. GEORGE – The passenger in Saturday’s fatal Corvette accident on state Route 7 in St. George, also known as Southern Parkway, has been released from the hospital, a family friend told St. George News Sunday.

Dustin Cummings, 27, of Washington City, was riding as a passenger in a white Corvette driven by Colin Wiest, 32, of St. George, Saturday afternoon. Wiest is believed to have been traveling at speeds exceeding 100 mph, Utah Highway Patrol Lt. Shawn Hinton said in an interview Saturday. As the Corvette crossed the threshold of the River Road structure on SR-7, the car became airborne and crashed into the guardrail, lodging beneath it and sliding approximately 200 feet. The guardrail pierced the car and impacted Wiest’s neck, Hinton said. Wiest was pronounced dead at the scene.

Cummings, the passenger in the Corvette, was taken from the accident scene to Dixie Regional Medical Center Saturday in critical condition. As of Sunday night, Cummings has been released from the hospital but will continue to be closely monitored, Kelsi Simpson, a family friend who went to school with Cummings, said.

“He is still not out of the woods yet,” Simpson said.

Cummings sustained a severe injury to one arm and came close to losing an eye as a result of the accident, Simpson said. He additionally has bleeding on his brain.

“He is in a lot of pain right now,” she said.

UHP investigators were performing additional accident reconstruction at the site of the crash as of Sunday afternoon to try and ascertain the precise speed at which the Corvette was traveling, UHP Sgt. Danny Ferguson said.