Douglas judge involved in fatal accident
August 29, 2013
An accident involving Douglas County District Judge Michael Gibbons has resulted in the death of a 61-year-old bicyclist.
Gardnerville resident Joseph A. Longo died Tuesday from injuries sustained in the Aug. 20 collision.
Gibbons is being represented by Reno attorney David Houston, who issued a statement on the judge’s behalf.
“Judge Gibbons was distraught and deeply saddened to learn that Mr. Longo passed away,” Houston said. “His thoughts and prayers have been with him, and he continues to pray for Mr. Longo and his family. On a personal level, the judge has never been involved in an injury accident, or anything like this. He has cooperated fully with law enforcement and will continue to do so. The judge devoted his career to making things better in his community, and it is with profound sadness that he expresses his best to the family of Mr. Longo.”
Houston agreed that the investigation into the accident will be lengthy.
“We all want to know what happened from a forensic and scientific viewpoint,” he said. “Those sorts of investigations take time. We’ll try to limit that time, and do all we can to provide resolution for everyone.”
The accident occurred 11:05 a.m. at the intersection of East Valley Road and Pinenut, according to the Nevada Highway Patrol.
Gibbons, 57, was westbound on Pinenut when he tried to make a right turn onto East Valley Road.
Longo was also westbound on Pinenut approaching the same intersection.
Gibbons was making the turn when the right rear portion of his vehicle collided with the bicycle.
NHP spokesman Trooper Dave Gibson said Longo, who was not wearing a helmet, was thrown from the bicycle and he sustained serious injuries.
Longo was flown to Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno, where he succumbed to his injuries 5 p.m. Tuesday.
The intersection is in the Douglas County Sheriff’s jurisdiction, but because Gibbons is an elected official, the investigation was turned over to the NHP to avoid a conflict of interest.
The NHP’s Major Accident Investigation Team has taken over the accident investigation.
Gibbons is nearing the end of his third full term as a district judge.
A former chief deputy district attorney, he was first elected district judge in 1994, defeating Tom Perkins who had been appointed to replace Judge Norm Robison. Gibbons won the seat again in 1996, 2002 and 2008.