A "quick-thinking" delivery truck driver extinguished an engine fire Friday afternoon after a woman drove head-on into him, Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Mark Zacha said.
Mastercraft Hardwood & Supply driver Jim White, 58, of Reno, said he spotted the white Subaru Outback a few blocks before it hit him at Adaline and Carson streets about 1:45 p.m. He thought the driver was just moving into the southbound turning lane.
"But she was going too fast," he said.
Driver Gail Darlene Duncan, 57, told troopers she'd fallen asleep just before she plowed headlong into White's northbound truck, knocking out a headlight and bending under the bumper. The impact caused her engine to catch fire.
"So that quick-thinking truck driver jumps out of his truck and puts the fire out," Zacha said.
Duncan, a nurse on her way to work, was taken by ambulance to Carson-Tahoe Hospital where she was treated and released, said Trooper Todd Hartline. She was cited for failing to maintain a travel lane. Hartline said Duncan's husband explained Duncan had worked late the previous evening and was tired when she left their Reno home for her job in Carson Valley.
"If she would have taken on a car like that, somebody would have gotten killed," White said.
The accident reduced northbound traffic to one lane at Long Street. The wreckage was cleared by 3 p.m.
"People need to make sure they have a good night's sleep and they are fully prepared to operate their vehicle. Also make sure you are not fatigued or taking any sort of medication that would either contribute to or enhance your state of fatigue," Hartline said.
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