Karen Gummow and Lla Jean Moore were killed during an accident in St. George, Utah on Wednesday, March 10, 2010. The fatal St. George accident happened just before 1 p.m. near 900 S. River Road. According to KSL news, a Utah Highway Patrol trooper was responding to an accident on Interstate 15 and traveling on north on River Road. Reports indicate the trooper had his emergency lights and sirens on. Another vehicle, occupied by a 71-year-old Karen Gummow, and her 75-year-old sister, Lla Jean Moore, attempted to make a left turn in front of the patrol car. The two vehicles collided killing the two woman on impact. “He was using his emergency lights and sirens, so he would have been traveling at a high rate of speed. What exactly that speed is, we don’t know,” said St. George police Lt. James Van Fleet.
Video Courtesy of KSL.com.
What a tragic accident. The sisters lived together just a few blocks from the site of the accident. My thoughts and prayers are truly with the family of these two women as they are given word of the passing of their loved one. I wish the best for the officer and he recovers.
In reviewing the comments to this story, I noticed that most were taken with how fast the officer had to have been going at the time of the crash. After looking at the severe damage to the two women’s car, I would have to agree. This raises the question of whether this officer was driving too fast for conditions in this area. Yes, officers are allowed to pursue suspects, but the suspect in this case was apparently miles away — and not directly in front of this officer. The need to apprehend a suspect must always give deference to the safety and well being of motorists that a police officer shares the road with.
I was glad to hear that this crash is being investigated. Key information will be the dash camera. The camera not only records the visual in front of the police car, but also monitors the speed the patrol car is traveling at. It also records conversation and other sounds inside the patrol car’s cabin. It will show whether the officer took any evasive action just prior to impact, such as braking, horn/siren noises, etc. It will also show if the patrol car’s emergency lights and/or siren was on at the time.
The speed limit on the street this St. George accident happened on was 40 miles per hour. Even though this is a heavily-used road, I doubt these women would have reasonably anticipated or appreciated that a police car could come barreling down the road at such a high rate of speed. If the woman did turn left in front of the officer, it may have been that she did not appreciate or understand that the patrol car was traveling so fast.
I would recommend that the family of these two sisters contact an experienced Utah personal injury and accident attorney to help them get to the bottom of why this accident really happened in the first place. Hopefully, such an accident will never happen in St. George again.
The Kramer Law Group does not currently represent any of the parties referenced in the blog article above. We have cited and linked to the source of our information. If you were involved in the above incident, or one like it, and have questions about your rights and possible remedies, you may call a reputable Utah personal injury law firm. The information and opinions expressed above are provided as a public service and should not be used in place of legal advice from a qualified Utah personal injury attorney.
Ron Kramer is a Utah personal injury and accident lawyer practicing throughout the state. Call the Kramer Law Group today at 801-666-3959 for a free consultation if you are in need of a Utah car accident attorney.