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Bret Hanna
Bret Hanna
Attorney • 435-649-2525

Tragedy Compounded

3 comments

One accident last Wednesday led to another, and the loss of life and tragedy that resulted seems hard to comprehend. The weather was terrible last Wednesday afternoon on Interstate 15 near Cedar City and a multi-car pile up occurred. A young couple on the way to Las Vegas for their wedding on Friday was involved and for them, the outcome was incredibly tragic.

There were three separate crashes between mileposts 34 and 36 involving 13 vehicles that occurred in succession. The first crash involved two semi tractor-trailers and two passenger vehicles. One of the tractor-trailers dumped its load of hay in the accident and that closed down the southbound lanes. Five vehicles stopped because of that crash, but an oncoming tractor trailer headed the same direction was unable to stop for those that stopped before it. It crushed a Kia Spectra between two semis and as a result, the 25-year-old bride-to-be was killed instantly. Her fiancé survived with serious injuries that resulted in the loss of part of one arm. Then another car crashed into the back of the tractor trailer that crushed the Kia.

Meanwhile, in nearby St. George, a Utah Highway Patrol trooper heard the call relating to the accidents on Interstate 15 and began to respond. He engaged his siren and lights and headed for the freeway to offer his assistance. At the same time, two elderly sisters were headed to an LDS ward house for a Relief Society meeting when they crossed paths with the trooper. The sisters, ages 71 and 75, turned left in front of the trooper and were hit – both died as a result of their injuries.

Without question, several people were in the wrong place at the wrong time. But there is often a citation to weather as the "cause" of accidents. Weather does not cause accidents, people do. There is no indication that the people who lost their lives or who were injured in the accidents referenced here were in any way responsible for what happened to them. But this series of events serves as a sober reminder that we all must be vigilant when it comes to assessing developing situations around us. Lives depend on it and we owe it to ourselves and each other.

3 Comments

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  1. Robert says:
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    In my opinion (using a manner of reasonability thought process) there were already emergency personal on the accident scene on I-15 near Cedar City.
    There would have already been EMT, fire department and state troopers,
    The trooper dispatch should make these facts known to all responding units especially when they are 40 miles away. Let them know that there assistance is needed so respond accordingly, by following safe transit standards. However, the reality is that there are no laws for responding officers that put on there lights and sirens, coupled together with the gung ho nature of many bored police authorities you have the makings of these reoccurring tragedies.
    Police officers should have set laws and be forced to follow them, or face the legal ramifications. There should be a separate board comprised of neutral citizens that investigate any police involved potentially illegal activities. Including but not limited to accidents with death or injuries, misuse of authority, constitutional violations, etc. Furthermore (since they carry guns) they should be randomly drug tested and blood tested after an accident. Do not have police investigate themselves that is stupid and rarely divulges the truth!

  2. Reasonable says:
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    Just look at the damage on a sturdy Buick! Let’s see the little old ladies were turning at about 1 mile per hour and an adrenaline filled Piggy who was bored and wanted to be one of the ten Piggy cars already on the scene of the accident 40 miles away. So while he is excitedly thinking about his worthless mission, he plowed into these poor women at approx. 95 – 100 MPH as witnessed by several people, one of which was an ex professional race car driver who stated that he is very proficient at gauging speed and he said it was well over 100 MPH! So if this is the case don’t you think the Piggy should be locked up in his pen to swallow in muck for 10 to twenty years? However let’s just read what this lying officer of the law has to say so you can see where this “investigation” will go and the reality of the situation. Jeff Nigbur with the Utah Highway Patrol says “he’s seen the dash camera video of the accident and doesn’t believe the trooper did anything wrong”. Nigbur says, “I’ve watched the video and didn’t see anything negligent. It was just a horrible accident. The trooper did brake before the crash.” This is outrages, no ramifications because the pigs investigate themselves and usually find themselves innocent regardless of the facts!

  3. Bret Hanna says:
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    Robert and Reasonable:

    Thank you for your comments. I can’t remember the last time a local law enforcement agency investigated one of their own and came to any conclusion other than a finding of no wrongdoing. Really? Not one instance of wrongdoing by officials who caused serious injury or death in any number of cases either because they shot someone or took them out in a car accident? Law enforcement is done by people and that means mistakes are made. These people need to be commended for their hard work and for sometimes putting their lives on the line for the common good. But they also need to be held accountable when they mistakes and harm or kill people.