Truck ramp accident investigation continues

More than two weeks after a fiery truck accident killed one man and destroyed a home, the investigation into the runaway truck ramp's effectiveness continues.

Scott Magruder, spokesman for the Nevada Department of Transportation, said Wednesday the department is researching maintenance history on the ramp, located near the intersection of state routes 431 and 28, and will investigate possible improvements to it and NDOT's two other runaway truck ramps on U.S. 50, east of Spooner Summit.

"Right now in terms of improving this ramp it's not going to be a costly improvement," said Magruder. "Safety is our top priority and to make sure all homeowners in the area feel safe.

"Something's going to happen - we're going to obviously improve it. You want to spend enough to make sure it gets fixed."

Magruder said the department is still waiting for an accident report from the Nevada Highway Patrol before it can make final conclusions on the June 18 accident that killed Frederick Matthews, 41, of San Diego, when his brakes apparently failed and his truck vaulted off the ramp and into the home at 645 Woodridge Circle, destroying it in the ensuing fire.

NHP Trooper Chuck Allen said investigators are looking at posted speed limits, weather conditions, road grading, vehicle weight and driver and vehicle records.

"Your typical fatal report will take no sooner than 30 days to complete, and when you factor a commercial motor vehicle into the equation, that time frame is extended," Allen said.

Magruder said everything is being considered, from widening the ramp to adding additional speed-slowing barriers to purchasing the property of the destroyed home owned by Damon Ewasko.

The June 18 incident marked the third major truck crash in the past nine years at the ramp.


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