This one occurred Sunday evening in Garfield County, when a 55-year-old woman turned left in her Toyota in front of an oncoming tractor-trailer. The accident occurred at 5:30 p.m., about 7 miles south of Panguitch on State Road 89 after the left hand turn was made from State Road 12.
The tractor-trailer hit the driver’s side of the Toyota and Dana George was ejected from her vehicle. She died in a helicopter as she was being transported from the scene. Her 16-year-old passenger was transported with minor injuries and her 80-year-old passenger was transported with critical injuries. The tractor-trailer driver was taken to a local hospital and is listed in fair condition. All were wearing seat belts.
Left turns are legal, of course, but those making them must make sure they have the right-of-way and that the turn can be made safely. Drivers going straight through intended left turn areas will have the right-of-way unless they are speeding to a degree that they lose it or a traffic control device directs them to yield or stop. But don’t assume that a speeding driver will yield or that all drivers will obey traffic control devices. MAKE SURE YOU CAN COMPLETE A LEFT TURN SAFELY BEFORE YOU START THE TURN.
Bret Hanna of Wrona DuBois in Utah, focuses exclusively on litigating plaintiffs’ medical malpractice and catastrophic personal injury cases. He has represented clients in state and federal courts, in mediations, and in administrative proceedings in Michigan and Utah since 1991.