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St. George, UT (June 09, 2022) – On Tuesday, June 7th, a man was pumping gas into his Hyundai Ioniq at the Pilot Travel Center off of Brigham Road at about 8:00 p.m. when he was struck by a driverless Nissan Murano rolling at moderate speed.

An officer with the St. George Police Department said that the Murano was being towed by two men in a Nissan Armada. The Armada had just pulled into the Pilot parking lot when the Murano came unhitched and headed directly for Pump 7.

The force of the impact knocked the man over and pinned him against his own vehicle.  

Two passengers in the Hyundai got out and tried to assist their friend while the occupants of the Nissan moved to put rocks underneath the escaped vehicle.  

The man was taken to an area hospital in unknown condition.

In an ironic twist of events, the incident took place precisely in the middle of National Trailer Safety Week.  Improper trailer maintenance and unsecured loads can come with considerable fines and contribute to numerous fatal accidents in Utah every year. 

Our thoughts are with the injured victim and their family at this time. We hope for their full recovery.

Runaway Trailer Accidents in Utah

Anytime a hitch connecting a trailer to a vehicle fails, those in the immediate area are at risk of serious injuries and death. In some instances, a hitch failure may be caused by improper installation, driver inexperience, or faulty design. When a hitch fails, the towed vehicle or trailer disconnects from the towing vehicle, allowing it to roll free and move uncontrolled into traffic. 

Statistics reviewed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that an average of 50,000 accidents involving unhitched trailers take place every year. In 2007, over 21,000 people were injured, and 450 were killed in collisions caused either directly or indirectly by towing accidents, including hitch failures.

An unhitched trailer accident or “runaway trailer” can happen if the driver of the hauling vehicle is driving too fast and loses control of the vehicle or if the hauling vehicle has defective brakes or experiences a brake malfunction. 

An improperly balanced load can also lead to a runaway trailer accident. Accidents can also happen when a trailer comes detached from a vehicle and is unable to stop on its own. This kind of accident occurs most often on steep grades.  

In addition, negligent hitch incidents occur due to the person connecting the rigging not having proper experience or training in doing so. When this is the case, trailers and towed vehicles that come unhitched become a danger to everyone around them.  

Let our attorneys handle the intricacies of the legal process while you focus on getting better. If you were injured in a runaway trailer accident, contact our personal injury lawyers in Utah at 801-350-3506 to schedule a free case evaluation.

Notes: The details and information utilized to create this post were gathered through the use of secondary sources. The details surrounding this accident have not been independently verified by the writing staff at Jardine Law Offices. These sources include but are not limited to newspaper stories, local news sources, local and state police reports, and eyewitness accounts about serious accidents that take place in Farmington and Salt Lake City, Utah. If you locate any information that is inaccurate, please contact us right away so that we can update the post with the most accurate information available. If you would like the post to be removed, please let us know and we will remove it as soon as possible. 

Disclaimers: The attorneys at Jardine Law Offices have worked hard through the years to build a solid business reputation in the community. We write about these serious incidents to bring awareness about the dangers associated with driving in hopes that our fellow community members will use an abundance of caution when operating a motor vehicle and avoid being involved in a serious accident themselves. This story is not intended to be a solicitation for business. The information provided in this post should not be misconstrued as medical or legal advice. The photos used in this post are not taken from the scene of this accident.