Truck strikes couple killing wife, injuring firefighter husband
VIRGINIA CITY — A Storey County firefighter was seriously injured and his wife killed Wednesday evening when the newlyweds were hit by a truck as they walked along a road in the Virginia Foothills.
Kelly Berry, 21, died at the scene of the accident, which occurred about 8 p.m. at Toll Road and Gold Run Drive in a subdivision at the base of Geiger Grade.
Darin Berry, 25, a firefighter who has worked full time for Storey County for a year, suffered “significant leg injuries,” according to fellow firefighters. He was listed in fair condition at Washoe Medical Center.
The driver of the truck, John Hyde, 39, of Reno, had been involved in a rollover accident in Reno earlier in the evening. Hyde was released from Washoe Medical Center about 6:30 p.m. after treatment for that accident. He was also treated and released following the second accident.
Storey County Fire Chief Gary Hames said the department was rocked by the tragedy.
“Our career department is only 17 people, so you can imagine how tight knit it is,” he said.
Hames described the couple, married in Las Vegas on April 19, as “head over heels in love.” He said they were only blocks away from a home they’d recently purchased in the Foothills when the accident occurred.
“They are probably the kindest people I’ve ever known,” he said.
Washoe County Sheriff Dennis Balaam said the Berrys were walking south against traffic on the northbound shoulder of Toll Road when the southbound truck veered across the lane and struck the couple from behind.
Balaam said speed doesn’t appear to be a factor. Toxicology reports are pending.
Berry’s shift partner, Rob Du Fresne, said he was told the couple had jogged to 7-Eleven for Slurpees and were walking home when the accident occurred.
He said he’d spent three hours at Washoe Medical Center on Wednesday evening, but was unable to see Berry.
The Storey County Fire Department has set up an account in Darin Berry’s name to help offset medical and funeral costs.
Michelle Youngs, public information officer for the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office, said Hyde was not cited in the accident, but could be.
“There’s a possibility charges could come from this,” she said. “But the investigation would have to get to the point where a charge would be applicable. This is a very complex investigation. It’s too premature to put a charge on it.”
This is the second such tragedy the small community of firefighters has had this summer.
In June, volunteer firefighter Mike Ellis, 21, of Dayton, drowned while swimming in Lake Lahontan. His wife, Louisa, is expecting the couple’s first child this month. An account set up in his name raised about $2,000, said Virginia City Volunteer Fire Chief Joe Curtis.
YOU CAN HELP:
Donations to help offset medical and funeral costs can be made to any Bank of America branch in the name of Darin L. Berry Medical Fund, account No. 004967322144.