One dead in hit-and-run
December 11, 2006
Virginia City – Storey County investigators are trying to determine how an alleged fight at a Mark Twain convenience store Saturday night ended in a rollover accident that claimed the life of a Carson City teen.
Sgt. Jason Dias said police were called to the bridge at the bottom of Six Mile Canyon Road about 10 p.m. Saturday on the report of a traffic accident. When emergency crews arrived, a 1992 Lincoln Continental was on its roof in the middle of the bridge with about 30 feet of steel guardrail impaling the interior and tangled around the vehicle.
The Lincoln’s driver, Robert Delao, 16, was pronounced dead at the scene. Passenger Jose Elizondo, 18, was pulled from the wreckage “with substantial injuries” and taken by helicopter to Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno, according to a press release.
Two other juvenile occupants of the Lincoln allegedly fled the scene and were located at a home nearby with moderate injuries. Both were transported by ambulance to Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center.
Dias said witnesses reported seeing the Lincoln speeding up Six Mile Canyon Road at about 80 mph with a green and white pickup truck in close pursuit.
According to Storey County District Attorney Harold Swafford, witnesses also reported the Lincoln was zigzagging across the road as if to keep the truck from passing.
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“We don’t know if the truck struck the Lincoln, or if the driver just lost control. We think (the Lincoln) was trying to get away,” Dias said.
A license plate found near the wreckage, and not belonging to the Lincoln, led investigators to Randy Boyd and Darin Vandenberg, both 22 years old from Dayton.
Dias said a 1995 Ford truck matching the description of the truck involved in the alleged chase and registered to the found license plate was parked in Boyd’s Mark Twain garage with extensive damage to the driver’s side and front end and possible paint transference from the Lincoln.
Court records indicate Boyd allegedly admitted to investigators he had been involved in an accident and left the scene. Vandenberg also allegedly admitted he was in the vehicle at the time of the wreck.
Both were arrested and booked into the Storey County Jail. Also arrested was an associate of theirs who allegedly refused to answer police questions.
Boyd, a landscape foreman, was being held on $70,000 bail on suspicion of felony hit and run causing death and battery with a deadly weapon causing death. Vandenberg is being held on suspicion of felony hit and run causing death. His bail was set at $40,000.
Swafford said it’s unclear who was driving at the time of the wreck.
Both men appeared before Storey County Justice of the Peace Annette Daniels on Monday afternoon. She determined there was enough probable cause to hold them on the charges for which they were booked. An arraignment is set for Wednesday afternoon.
• Contact reporter F.T. Norton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1213.
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