Family holds vigil for 16-year-old hurt by runaway semi-truck

A Holbrook Junction family is holding a vigil at Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno for a 16-year-old girl whose neck was broken when a semi-truck plowed through her bedroom Friday morning.

"We are also praying for the truck driver and his family," said Angelina Chavez, the victim's aunt.

Leticia Avalos was critically injured when a commercial 18-wheeler traveling south on Highway 395 careened through the Holbrook Station Mobile Home Park after the driver had apparently fallen asleep at the wheel.

Leticia and 12-year old Miranda Luna were sleeping in the rear bedroom of the home, which was sheared off and dragged by the truck until it hit another vacant trailer and came to a stop.

Neighbors found Miranda near the wreckage. Rescue workers arrived and treated her for scrapes, bruises and an ankle injury. She later received 40 stitches on her face and may need corrective surgery on her ankle.

It took more than a half an hour before Leticia was found beneath the debris.

"Of the three, she had the most critical injuries," said East Fork Deputy Fire Chief Bobby Wartgow. "We found her kind of on the saddle tanks on the big rig."

Leticia and the truck driver, who suffered head injuries, were transported to Carson Valley Medical Center then taken by helicopter to Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno.

Leticia underwent neck surgery and remains in critical condition. A room has been arranged at the Ronald McDonald House for her recovery.

No charges have been filed against the driver, 42-year-old Daren Eugene Blackshire of Bishop, Calif., according to a press release issued by the Nevada Highway Patrol on Monday, but Wartgow said the driver had indicated to rescue personnel he'd fallen asleep at the wheel.

The girls' legal guardian, Julia Luna, injured her back during the accident. Her sister Rebecca Luna, who was visiting and sleeping in another room, was hit in the head by a nail.

A bank account has been set up at Bank of America to assist the family. Make donations to account number 501005883556. Gift cards and furnishings are also needed. Call 266-3516 for more information. Leave your name and number along with a message.

Witnesses to the accident are encouraged to call Trooper James Farmer at (775) 689-4623.

The family would like to thank the following people for their support: the Holbrook community, Butch and Mike Holbrook property management, Mono County Sheriff's Department, state and highway troopers , East Fork paramedics and fire fighters, Topaz Community Open Bible Church, Renown Hospital, the Ronald McDonald House, Robin Cotton at Denny's restaurant, The Red Cross, and Rick Ross and Bob Cherry from the Topaz Lodge.


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