This morning at approximately 5:43 am, troopers from the Nevada Highway Patrol were dispatched to a crash on Old US 395 in Pleasant Valley, just north of the intersection of Andrew Lane. Upon arrival it was determined that a red 2007 Saturn two-door convertible, driven by 24-year-old Cristina E. Laughbon of Washoe Valley, struck two adult feral horses that were occupying both northbound travel lanes. As a result of the collision, both animals sustained fatal injuries. Laughbon received only minor injuries in the crash and was treated at the scene by REMSA personnel. She was driven from the scene a short time later to a local urgent care center by a friend.
Shortly after her crash, a white 2004 Ford F-150 pickup was also traveling northbound and approaching the scene driven by Nicholas A. Manzo of Washoe Valley. Mr Manzo observed the disabled Saturn in the left northbound lane and made a lane change to pass the vehicle on the right. He failed to observe one of the downed horses in the travel lane and subsequently struck it. Mr. Manzo was not injured in the event.
Both vehicles received significant damage and had to be towed from the scene. The Nevada Departments of Transportation and Agriculture each dispatched personnel to the scene as well. The two separate events resulted in both northbound lanes of the highway to be closed for just over two hours so that the highway could be cleared. Neither driver was cited.
As a safety reminder, especially given the fact that fewer vehicles now utilize Old US 395 due to the recent completion and opening of Interstate 580 (IR-580), motorists should be constantly vigilant for all wild and feral animals crossing the highway. This train of thought should also be applied when commuting on all highways and state routes throughout the Silver State as Nevada is an open range state. Additionally, this four-lane highway continues to be posted at 50 miles per hour between the intersection of State Routes 341/431 and the interchange with IR-580 near the Bowers Mansion/Davis Creek Park on the north end of Washoe Valley.