Cave Rock collision causes injuries
STATELINE – A trace of snow covering Highway 50 was apparently enough to cause a head-on collision Thursday near Cave Rock, leaving two women seriously injured.
Donna Dunnfield suffered multiple facial fractures and was listed in serious condition at Barton Memorial Hospital in South Lake Tahoe. She was later transferred to Washoe Medical Center in Reno.
Michelle Burnett was driving a gray Toyota sedan when it crossed the center line and collided with a linen truck in which Dunnfield was a passenger. She was also taken to Barton and had surgery for a fractured knee.
“I saw it coming,” said John Quintana, who was driving the linen truck. “I guess it lost control and slid right into me. I tried to avoid it, but there was nothing I could do.”
Thursday was Dunnfield’s first day working for the linen company, according to Quintana. “I just feel so bad. I’m really worried about her. I told her this morning to put her seat belt on but I said don’t worry, I promise I won’t kill you.”
Burnett was apparently trapped in the car. “When the fire department got here she was screaming ‘get me out of here,” Quintana said.
Burnett’s husband, David, and their 2-year-old son Tyler were also riding in the car and sustained minor injuries.
“She wasn’t going excessively fast,” said Nevada Highway Patrol Sgt. Phil Shemick. “She was going just a little too fast for conditions and slid into the other lane.”
Dunnfield was riding with Quintana to familiarize herself with the area where she would be working as a sales representative for the Reno-based company. Quintana said they were driving to Reno after spending the morning on the south shore.
“This little itty-bitty car slide right across the highway and plowed into the truck,” said John English of Sparks, who was following Quintana in the eastbound lane. “I didn’t see much, but the back of the truck caught air.”
About the same time, a similar collision occurred near the top of Spooner Summit. The NHP could not provide details but said one person was injured and taken to Washoe Medical Center.
On the north side of the Lake, no one was injured in two separate rollover accidents near North Lake Tahoe on Thursday.
Highway 28 near Sand Harbor was closed after a delivery truck rolled over and both lanes of traffic was blocked. The driver of the truck was not injured in the 4:45 p.m. accident.
The driver of a car that rolled near the summit of Mount Rose also escaped injury in a 3 p.m. accident.