Man wrecks bike, dies outside railroad museum |

Man wrecks bike, dies outside railroad museum

by F.T. Norton
Appeal Staff Writer

A man who has had “numerous” brushes with the law because of public intoxication was apparently under the influence of alcohol Monday when he wrecked his bicycle on the grounds of the Nevada State Railroad Museum, then collapsed and died as he spoke to a museum employee, police said.

Vernal Dell Mullen, 44, was pronounced dead about 11 a.m. in the 2100 block of South Carson Street.

According to Sheriff’s Detective Daniel Gonzales, Mullen was pedaling through the museum grounds when he wrecked his bicycle just past the railroad tracks.

A museum employee saw Mullen lying on the ground on his side and walked over and spoke with him, said Gonzales.

“He said (Mullen) was talking to him, but that it was all mumbled and incoherent,” Gonzales said. “The employee called 911 and when he looked again, Vern was now laying on his face on the ground.”

When officers arrived on scene, Mullen was dead. His bicycle lay near him on its side, and an unopened 40-ounce bottle of Miller High Life sat undisturbed on the asphalt next to him.

An autopsy is set for sometime this week, said Coroner Ruth Beseler.

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