It has been a very busy week for the Arizona Department of Public Safety, Mohave County Sheriffs and Beaver Dam Fire departments as they responded to two major accidents Nov. 16 and 17 in the same general area of I-15 at milepost 13 in the Virgin River Gorge.
Wednesday’s accident involved a silver 2007 Nissan Quest van that collided with the center concrete barricade, causing a flat tire. As the driver, 74 year-old Peggy Noreen Jackson of Alberta, Canada walked around her vehicle to inspect the damage in the same lane of the collision, she was struck by an oncoming 2006 Toyota Camry driven by 25 year-old John Raymond Steadward of Walnut, Calif. Jackson was pronounced deceased at the scene. The surviving occupants of both vehicles were transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George, Utah for treatment of their injuries.
Another accident on Thursday, this time in the northbound direction just short of mile marker 13, was a semi-tractor trailer carrying frozen produce that flipped onto its side, spilling out boxes of fruits, vegetables and beans. The incident blocked traffic around 7:45 p.m. and crews couldn’t reopen the lanes until about 5:30 a.m. on Nov. 18.
DPS Sergeant John Bottoms urges all motorists to slow down and be aware of their surroundings. While speed has not been pinpointed as a factor in either incident, drivers who travel through the gorge often see others who travel faster than the posted speed limit of 55 miles per hour.