Last Updated: January 11, 2012, 6:56 pm

‘Extremely Dangerous’ Device Causes Virgin River Gorge Closure


A potentially life-threatening device was the cause of Tuesday’s overnight Virgin River Gorge road closure.

A Mesquite bank robbery suspect was reportedly fleeing the scene driving north-bound on I-15 when Arizona highway patrol officers pulled his vehicle over. “As one of the officers was walking up to the car, the man put a gun to his head in attempt to commit suicide,” Arizona Highway Patrol Public Information Officer Carrick Cook told SUN News. “He succeeded.”

After searching the car, officers found what looked to be a box that Cook said was “out of place, and containing dangerous substances.”

Arizona officials immediately called for the section of I-15 in the gorge to be completely shutdown until proper hazmat crews could tend to the scene.

Arriving around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, crews were able to clean the scene and contain the object. Traffic returned to normal by 5:00 a.m. Wednesday.

“With dangerous items such as this, we wanted to make sure every precaution was taken,” Cook said.