State troopers and Carson area businesses have teamed up to offer some comfort to six children who lost their fathers in a Mound House wreck last week.
Troopers John Jessee and Mark Zacha hope to deliver gifts to the children of Michael Cantamessa and Richard Jones on Christmas Eve.
"Both of these men were going to work, trying to support a family when this accident happened and both families showed up on scene," said Jessee, who admitted that coming from a rural post recently, he'd never had to see the affect accidents had on families.
According to a preliminary investigation, Cantamessa, 29, lost control of his truck as he was westbound on Highway 50 East just inside the Carson City line on his way to work in Carson City. He slid into the path of Jones, 36, driving east to his job at American Ready-Mix in Mound House. Both men were pronounced dead at the scene.
Zacha said one wife was notified by her husband's boss that he was killed. The other was driving with the couple's two children when she passed the accident, then turned around and realized her husband was dead.
"Because we were right in close contact with the family, it kind of hit us all pretty hard," Zacha said. "We were seeing first hand the hurt this has caused. With that in mind we thought we'd do something for the children."
Word spread like wildfire, and troopers across the region, from the brass to the grunts on the street, began to pitch in what they could. Then donations were secured from Miles Construction and Sierra Truss, said Sgt. Mark Clark.
"I never imagined it would get to the magnitude it's become," Jessee said.
"We know that doesn't bring anybody back, but if it helps with the pain that would be great. We are not looking for attention, we are doing this for the kids."
Anyone who would like to donate to the Cantamessa and Jones families can call the Nevada Highway Patrol's non-emergency dispatch number at 688-2500 ext. 2 and dispatchers will make a list of those wishing to help, said Trooper Chuck Allen. Either Zacha or Jessee will return the calls and make arrangements to pick up donations.
"We want to deliver things on Christmas Eve, but if people want to donate, they can and we'll get it to the families even after Christmas as well. We are open. We are here to protect and serve - we'll serve any old time," Jessee said.
-- Contact reporter F.T. Norton at email@example.com or 881-1213.
You can help
WHAT: Donate to the Cantamessa and Jones families
CALL: The Nevada Highway Patrol's non-emergency dispatch number at 688-2500 ext. 2 and dispatchers will make a list of those wishing to help. Troopers will return the calls and make arrangements to pick up donations.