Man strikes wires, is killed on ATV |

Man strikes wires, is killed on ATV

by F.T. Norton
Appeal Staff Writer
Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal Carson City Sheriff's officials investigate a fatal ATV accident Tuesday morning near the Arrowhead Drive exit of the freeway. Lester Mitchell Paul Jr., 41, of Carson, died after driving through a barbed wire fence in a ditch near the freeway.

A Carson City man reported missing by his family early Tuesday morning was discovered two hours later, the apparent victim of an all-terrain vehicle accident in North Carson City.

Lester Mitchell Paul Jr., 41, was pronounced dead at the scene after his body was discovered on his ATV in a drainage ditch alongside the Highway 395 east off-ramp to Arrowhead Drive at 8:57 a.m.

Sheriff Kenny Furlong said Paul’s sister called police about 6 a.m. when she realized her brother wasn’t yet home from riding his ATV the previous evening near Arrowhead and Manzanita drives.

Search and rescue members were assembling at the intersection at about 8:30 a.m. to begin a search of the area, and an air search was already under way, when a freeway construction worker discovered Paul’s body, Furlong said.

The sheriff said it appears Paul was riding in the ravine when he struck four fence wires, the tallest one being at about 4 feet, which caught Lester by the neck. He was decapitated. The ATV was equipped with a headlight but it was unclear if the light was on. Paul was not wearing a helmet.

According to Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Tod Hartline, Paul was likely going in excess of 40 mph when the accident occurred. The ATV came to a stop more than 50 feet from the point of impact.

The Nevada Department of Transportation owns the land.

“It is not open to the public,” Hartline said.

Scott Magruder, NDOT spokesman, said the fencing in question is common along Nevada freeways. This fence was installed in April.

“These fences are for control of access; we don’t want people getting on the freeway,” he said.

There are no signs prohibiting people from entering the area.

“This is one danger of riding off-road in a populated area, especially at night when you can’t always see the obstruction,” Furlong said. “Also, when you’re speeding too fast for the conditions, you’re putting your life in danger.”

• Contact reporter F.T. Norton at or 881-1213.