Driver in fatal wreck near Lake Tahoe found, arrested on felony charges

Officials investigate the scene of the accident Thursday evening on Highway 431 north of Lake Tahoe.

Officials investigate the scene of the accident Thursday evening on Highway 431 north of Lake Tahoe.

INCLINE VILLAGE — On Friday afternoon, the Nevada Highway Patrol reported the driver who fled the scene — 34-year-old Manuel Mejia-Verduzco — was located at his apartment in Incline Village, where he had reportedly been hiding.

NHP Trooper Dave Gibson said Mejia-Verduzco had injuries to his face, a wrist and an ankle, and had a broken arm, consistent with being in a vehicle accident.

He was treated at Renown Regional Medical Center for his injuries, before being booked Friday evening at Washoe County Jail in Reno.

He was being held on four felony charges of fleeing the scene of an accident, and four misdemeanors, including an open container and driving without a license. His bail is set at more than $80,000.

Gibson said while NHP suspects alcohol may have played a factor, considering Mejia-Verduzco was found a day after the incident, it will likely be hard to prove anyone was intoxicated.

Earlier Friday, NHP identified the deceased passenger as Hugo Soto-Barrios, 40, of Incline Village.

According to media reports, one of the three occupants in the Jeep has been released from the hospital. The two others remain at Renown, but their injuries are now not deemed life-threatening.

The accident occurred when Mejia-Verduzco was driving a 1998 silver Isuzu Rodeo on Nevada Highway 431 between mile markers 3 and 4 near Incline Village when he crossed into oncoming traffic and struck a 2003 blue Jeep Liberty, said Gibson said.

The incident occurred at about 6:15 p.m.

The Rodeo’s lone passenger was transported by helicopter with life-threatening injuries to Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno, where he was later died.

The incident remains under investigation. NHP Trooper Karen Garretson is investigating the incident. Anyone who may have information should contact her at 775-689-4625 or regarding case number NHP-150100100.


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