Reno, NV…Between 7:14am and 9:28am, the Nevada Highway Patrol investigated a total of 14 accidents in the Reno/Sparks area. Freezing fog blanketed the area, and the below freezing temperatures, quickly made the area highways icy.
Nevada Department of Transportation utilized their digital reader boards on IR580 and IR80 to warn drivers of the possible freezing fog. Additionally the NDOT sand trucks were dispatched to the areas reported to have been iced up from the fog.
11 property damage accidents and 3 injury accidents were investigated by the NHP this morning. The injuries reported were minor. Several other accidents were reported, but the vehicles left prior to NHP arrival. Several other vehicles were reported to have lost control, and slid off the highway, but were not damaged. The accidents were clustered mainly near bodies of water in the area of (the Truckee River and the Sparks Marina). On IR80 from Rock Blvd to the Lockwood area, and on IR580 near the spaghetti bowl. All of this occurred within approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes time.
An NHP patrol car was struck at an accident scene this morning. An NHP trooper was parked on the right shoulder of IR580 at the exit for IR80, behind a vehicle that was involved in an accident. This area of IR580 was icy due to the fog, and is a bridge over the Truckee River and Kietzke Lane. A silver 2006 Dodge pickup lost control of his vehicle and struck the NHP cruiser. The trooper, a 21 year veteran of the NHP, was standing at the right front passenger door of 2008 Ford Crown Victoria at the time of the accident. He was pinned between the patrol car and the concrete wall at the side of the highway, but only for a few seconds. The trooper sustained minor injuries but was not transported to the hospital. The patrol car was not drivable and needed to be towed from the scene. The driver of the Dodge pickup, 66 year old Arlen Huggins was not injured. The pickup did not require a tow truck. Mr. Huggins was issued a citation for Failure to Use Due Care.
The Nevada Highway Patrol would like to remind the motoring public that the weather conditions in northern Nevada change often. The highway conditions in canyons, in shaded areas, and on overpasses and bridges may be icy when the when the rest of the highway is dry. Please adjust your speed accordingly and slow down prior to entering a curve or turn to avoid losing control of your vehicle on an icy surface.
Here is a copy of the Nevada Revised Statute for reference.
NRS484B.603 Duty of driver to decrease speed under certain circumstances; additional penalty for violation committed in work zone. The fact that the speed of a vehicle is lower than 1. the prescribed limits does not relieve a driver from the duty to decrease speed when approaching and crossing an intersection, when approaching and going around a curve, when approaching a hill crest, when traveling upon any narrow or winding highway, or when special hazards exist or may exist with respect to pedestrians or other traffic, or by reason of weather or other highway conditions, and speed must be decreased as may be necessary to avoid colliding with any person, vehicle or other conveyance on or entering a highway in compliance with legal requirements and the duty of all persons to use due care. Any person who fails to use due care as required by 2. subsection 1 may be subject to the additional penalty set forth in NRS 484B.130.