Alcohol now considered a factor in Highway 395 crash
Alcohol is considered a factor in the head-on collision south of Gardnerville that killed one and left three in critical condition Saturday morning, according to Nevada Highway Patrol accident investigator Trooper Mike Teeuwen.
He had said earlier that alcohol was not thought to be a factor, but would not say what lead him to change his assessment.
The identity of the man killed, who lived in the San Diego area, is being withheld pending notification of family. The California Highway Patrol is looking his relatives to notify, Teeuwen said.
The man was killed after a northbound Mercury Sable with no plates entered his lane of traffic, hitting the new white Hyundai he was driving head-on, according to Nevada Highway Patrol reports.
The others seriously injured in the crash include the owner of the Hyundai, Kay Ault, 46, of Alpine, Calif. She remained in serious condition at Washoe Medical Center.
Rescue workers removed the top of the Hyundai to free her from the car, according to East Fork Fire and Paramedic District Capt. Robert Lekumberry.
The driver of the Mercury was identified as Scott Pilkington, 36, of Wellington. He is listed in serious condition at Washoe Medical Center. He was ejected upon impact..
His passenger, 37-year-old Barbara Pilkington of Wellington, also remains in critical condition at Washoe Medical Center.
All four were taken by either Care Flight or Calstar air ambulances to area hospitals.
The crash occurred at 9:30 a.m. Saturday where Highway 395 climbs Jake’s Hill south five miles south of Gardnerville. All occupants were wearing seat belts.
Traffic was stopped in both directions for 1 1/2 hours.
The Nevada Highway Patrol, Douglas County Sheriff’s Department and East Fork Fire and Paramedic District responded to the scene. East Fork brought 25 personnel, two engines, one heavy-rescue truck with extraction equipment and two command units.
Care Flight helicopters responded from Washoe Medical Center and Carson Valley Medical Center. The Calstar helicopter came from Truckee.