Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Thomas Wood spoke with the Lahontan Valley News about a four-vehicle chain-reaction crash Tuesday around 4 p.m. on U.S. Highway 50 near Trento Lane.
Wood said NHP is not exactly sure at this time whether impairment, such as texting or driving under the influence, was involved.
The at-fault vehicle, Wood said, was a white utility van heading eastbound on 50 when it went over the center line.
The driver of the second vehicle, also a white utility van — a medical oxygen tank delivery vehicle — spotted the other van and moved to avoid it.
The first vehicle struck the second on its back left side, sending it into a 360-degree turn and came to rest off the road.
The third vehicle was a Dodge pick-up truck at the Trento Lane stop sign, looking to make a left turn. Wood said the at-fault van drilled into the truck, just missing the stop sign, and the van came to rest facing north in the ditch on the other side of Trento. Wood said brake marks and heavy steering were noticeable so the driver was not gassing at that point.
The fourth vehicle involved was an A&K Earth Movers utility truck traveling west on 50 before making a right-hand turn onto Trento. It was hit on its back left side as well by the first vehicle before it came to rest.
Fire first responders excavated the pinned driver of the first vehicle. The driver and single passenger were both transported to Renown in Reno. The driver was taken via Care Flight and the passenger via ground. The driver sustained serious but not life-threatening injuries including leg injuries and a cracked skull.
Wood said when injuries are involved, impairment tests and questions are not usually done; but a trooper typically goes to Reno to follow-up on the testing that generally involves a blood draw.
Vehicle two’s driver was transported to Banner Churchill with not life-threatening injuries and released later that night. Wood said they went and visited. Also, vehicle three’s driver was transported to Banner Churchill with not life-threatening injuries.
Vehicle four’s driver sustained no injuries and was able to drive away.
The highway was shut down on and off for at least an hour, Wood said.