A wrong-way driver was to blame for an early morning three-car accident Thursday that snarled North Carson Street traffic for two hours, authorities said.
Police said the accident happened at 6 a.m. when Leroy Perks, 71, of Pleasant Valley drove south in the northbound lane between Hot Springs Road and Winnie Lane.
"The first car that came up on him tried to veer up on the island, but was clipped in the right front," said Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Mark Zacha. "He bounced off that vehicle and hit another one head on."
Zacha said the force of the impact sent Perks' dog flying into the windshield and, in a panic, the dog injured Perks' wife, Jeanie.
Perks then stepped from the vehicle and collapsed on the highway. He was taken to Carson-Tahoe Hospital for treatment of chest injuries.
Lucrecia Mambreno-Rivis, 25, a passenger in the second vehicle that was struck, also was taken to the hospital with complaints of chest pains.
A preliminary breath test given to Perks revealed he was nearly at the legal limit for alcohol, Zacha said. The results of a blood test taken at the hospital won't be available for a few weeks, he said.
Traffic was routed through the Safeway parking lot for an hour before police were able to open a northbound lane.
Zacha said the case will be sent to the District Attorney's Office, where a warrant will be requested for Perks on charges of drunken driving and driving the wrong way on a divided highway.