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ZION NATIONAL PARK — A semitruck got stuck in a historic Zion National Park tunnel Monday, according to park officials.
The semitruck became wedged approximately 600 feet from the west exit of the Zion-Mount Carmel tunnel while it was traveling west at about 11:45 p.m., according to Zion National Park. Park officials said potential structural damage done to the tunnel is currently being examined.
Investigators said the 18-wheel semitruck was attempting to pass through the tunnel after hours when the traffic control service is not available. The tunnel is closed to oversized vehicles after 4:30 p.m.
“Signs at both the entrance station and on Highway 9 near Mount Carmel Junction warn motorists of the size restrictions and closure of the tunnel,” a statement from the park reads. “The driver stated that he was new to the area, that his GPS led him on the route and that he followed another vehicle through the entrance station without noticing the signs.”
Park officials reported the driver was cited for operating the semitruck in the tunnel without the traffic control service. Investigators also noted that “commercial vehicles that are not doing business within the park are not permitted to drive through the park because of the historic tunnel dimensions, tight turns to the tunnel’s approach, narrow lanes and wildlife.”
The driver allegedly told officials he was traveling with an empty trailer from Kanab to Las Vegas so he could pick up a load and take it to Dallas.