Teens injured when SUV rolls in St. George; alcohol, speed may have played part

Posted at 3:17 PM, Jun 24, 2014

ST GEORGE, Utah -- A 15-year-old girl is in critical condition after the car she was driving rolled late Monday night in a St. George neighborhood.

Four other teens were taken to the hospital for varying injuries, and at least two have been cited for underage drinking.

It happened just after 10 p.m. Many of the neighbors reported hearing the loud crash, followed by the screams.

“It sounded like someone had hit one of my vehicles outside my home,” said homeowner Rob Matthews. “So I came running upstairs.”

The car landed on its top on the corner of 670 North and Valley View Drive. One of the teens was ejected from the car, but the 15-year-old girl driving the car sustained the most serious injuries.

“Everyone in the vehicle sustained some sort of injury,” said St. George Police Sgt. Sam Despain. “Broken bones to cuts and bruises to severe head trauma.”

Matthews said many neighbors came out at the time and tried to help before medics arrived. He described the scene as horrific.

“I don’t do well with that,” Matthews said. “But I tried to do what I could. Quite a few ended up being out there.”

The driver had to be extricated from the vehicle and was air lifted to Las Vegas.

Despain said officers are still investigating the cause of the crash, but said speed and alcohol appear to be the primary cause.

At least two of the teens had been drinking.

“There were two individuals who were issued citations last night for minor consuming,” Despain said. “We’re still looking into and investigating the possibility of others who were drinking alcohol.”

Despain said investigators are looking into why the 15-year-old was driving the car at the time. Other charges may be forthcoming in this case.