Gardnerville man recovers from Washoe accident

Ranell Durgan was on the phone with her brother at 6:05 p.m. on New Year's Eve when she heard something strange.

"It sounded as though he dropped his cell phone and then I heard all the groaning and cries," she said. "I knew in a nanosecond that he'd been in a crash."

Gardnerville Ranchos resident David Durgan, 46, was heading home on Highway 395 through Washoe Valley when the collision occurred. Ranell Durgan said the other driver crossed the center line near Cattlemen's and collided with her brother's pickup.

"I immediately called the house and told my brother's fiancee something bad had happened, then I called the highway patrol," Ranell said. "The trooper said the other driver was driving too fast coming north, crossed over the divide and broadsided him. They had to use the Jaws of Life to get him out."

Joshua Van Roy, 18, of Gardnerville, suffered a subdural concussion, a broken nose and has his leg in a full cast and stiches in his foot.

According to Trooper Eddie Bowers of the Nevada Highway Patrol, the driver of a 2001 Dodge 2500 pickup lost control of the vehicle on the icy road and spun out, crossing the center line hitting David Durgan's F-150 pickup.

Durgan was taken to Washoe Medical Center with severe arm, hip and facial injuries.

The father of four got out of his third, and his sister said, hopefully his final surgery to reconstruct his face on Tuesday.

"They rebuilt his left elbow the night of the accident and they put his hip back together after that," she said. "He can't breath on his own. He had to have a tracheotomy and after the surgery he will have to have the 'trache' in for six weeks. He can't talk or anything and he has a stomach tube in so he can have food."

Ranell, who lives in La Selva Beach, Calif., said Durgan was in good spirits going into the surgery.

"He was fairly lucid before the surgery," she said. "David has a funny personality and way about him and he was trying to joke around. But he is on heavy-duty medication. We are confident he is going to live and is going to be all right."

However, it will be at least a year before Durgan is able to go back to work and the medical bills are going to stack up to $200,000 to $300,000 before all is said and done. In the meantime his sister is making his mortgage payment on the home he purchased four years ago when the family moved to Carson Valley from Incline Village. His mother is taking care of his four children, age 17, 15, 13 and 11.

While the other driver was insured, the maximum might cover half of Durgan's medical bills at most.

"Our family's goal is to keep the family afloat," Ranell said. "We don't want my brother stressing out about this stuff. We'll figure it out."

The family has established a bank account for anyone who might wish to help out at the Minden Bank of America. The Account No. is 004971149342

Ranell said the investigator, Trooper Rick McLellan, was very helpful to the family after the accident.

You can help

Donations may be made through the Minden Bank of America. Account No. 004971149342


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