An unidentified man had to be cut from his mangled vehicle Monday after he was rear-ended in the merge lane at Lakeview Drive and Highway 395.
According to the Nevada Highway Patrol, the driver of a 1991 Ford Thunderbird was either stopped or driving slowly, possibly in an attempt to merge with southbound traffic, when a 3Ú4-ton Chevy Silverado pickup slammed into his rear.
The impact demolished the trunk space up to the driver's seat and sent the Thunderbird across two lanes into the wall until it skidded to a stop 250 yards down the highway.
Christopher Dianda, 29, driver of the pickup, told troopers he saw the Thunderbird in front of him as he approached the on-ramp.
"He said he looked down his left to the north for a break in traffic, thought he had a break and when he turned back around, the car was right there and he didn't have any time to brake," said Trooper Todd Hartline. The truck was going about 45 mph at the time of impact.
Hartline said the victim was not wearing a seat belt and was possibly under the influence of alcohol.
"We found nothing in his wallet that had any ID at all as far as who this individual is," he said. The vehicle is registered to a Carson City address.
Crews from the Carson City Fire Department worked to extricate the unconscious man as a Care Flight Helicopter sat waiting in the southbound lanes. Traffic was stopped at the top of the hill.
Once freed from the vehicle, paramedics and Care Flight nurses scrambled to stabilize the victim who had a head injury, strapping him to a backboard, securing his airway and starting him on intravenous fluids.
In the thrashed back seat of the Thunderbird, an infant safety seat was shoved into the driver's seat. Contents from the trunk and vehicle littered the highway.
The pickup truck, equipped with a steel brush guard, sustained minor damage, Hartline said. Dianda suffered a bloodied nose. He was cited for failure to use due care.
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