1 killed in St. George collision, 1 man arrested

Aug 15, 2023, 1:58 PM | Updated: Mar 15, 2024, 10:45 am

two trucks, one turned on its side...

A collision killed Manuel Gomez, 55, while William Western was arrested and Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2023. (St. George Police Department)

(St. George Police Department)

ST. GEORGE, Utah — One man is dead and another driver is in police custody after a collision in St. George Tuesday.

Two trucks collided at approximately 8:04 a.m., leaving one vehicle turned on its side, and 55-year-old Manuel Gozez dead from injuries he suffered in the crash. He was initially trapped in his truck and police said he then “succumbed to his injuries.”

The other driver — William Western, 47 — has been arrested on suspicion of reckless driving, negligently operating a vehicle resulting in death, and possession of a prescription for an unlawful purpose, according to the affidavit.

According to the affidavit, Western showed signs of drug use as “his pupils to be pinprick constricted, his eyes were bloodshot and watery,” and “was making small fidgeting movements with his hands and feet, and was unable to sit still.”

Before a St. George officer conducted sobriety tests, Western said he had prior medical conditions and did not trust the science behind sobriety tests.

According to the affidavit, Western showed 12 out of the 18 signs of impairment and was arrested for DUI.

The crash on Sunset Boulevard in St. George, closed the road eastbound between Westridge and Valley View Drive, an area with a lot of traffic and businesses. Police asked drivers to avoid the area and recommended using the streets on either side of the closed portion of Sunset Boulevard to head north and south.

During Western’s processing at the Washington County Jail, he admitted to police he had taken his prescribed Adderall before the crash. He also took a prescribed pill of Ambien and an unprescribed pill of hydrocodone the night before.

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1 killed in St. George collision, 1 man arrested