Four die on Douglas roads in 2016
Highway 50 was again the most dangerous road in Douglas County, accounting for half the fatalities in the county during 2016, according to state figures.
However, with only four fatalities, 2016 was one of the least deadly on Douglas County highways in the last decade. It was the second lowest number of fatalities in a decade, matching 2014. The lowest number was in 2010 when just three people died.
Two of last year’s fatalities occurred on Highway 50 and one on Kingsbury Grade, according to the Nevada Highway Patrol.
Both of those killed in the Lake Tahoe accidents were passengers in vehicles. One accident was on Jan. 16 and another was on Oct. 16.
The only motorcyclist killed during the year was a 29-year-old Garderville resident who wrecked his dirtbike near Holbrook Junction on July 13. According to the Nevada Highway Patrol, the collision that killed Joshua David Sloan-Kjersem was alcohol-related.
Preliminary data shows that 327 traffic fatalities occurred on Nevada roads in 2016, one death more than the previous year. In contrast, the number of lives lost on Nevada roads increased by 30 between 2015 and 2016. Total year-end traffic deaths could be adjusted based on ongoing traffic crash investigations. Statewide, traffic fatalities reached an all-time high of 432 in 2006.
“Every death on Nevada roads is a tragedy and a loved one who will not be coming home,” Nevada Department of Transportation Director Rudy Malfabon said. “When each person thinks about themselves and their family, the only acceptable traffic safety goal is zero fatalities. That’s why, for our state, there is no other acceptable goal than zero fatalities. Transportation and safety agencies across Nevada will continue working every day to save lives on Nevada roads.”
Unsafe driving behavior and an increasing number of miles traveled on Nevada roads may be two contributing factors to the traffic deaths. On average, the amount of miles traveled on Nevada roads increases nearly 4 percent every year. When compared to the amount of miles traveled on Nevada roads, traffic deaths have dropped from an average of 2.05 deaths per every 100 million miles traveled in 2005 to 1.3 fatalities per 100 million miles in 2015.
Douglas fatal wrecks
A Los Angeles man was killed Jan. 16 in a collision on Highway 50 at Glenbrook.
Aquiles Molero, 36, died of injuries sustained when the Toyota Corolla he was riding in crossed the highway’s center line into the path of an oncoming Subaru.
Gardnerville resident Joshua David Sloan-Kjersem, 29, was killed in a July 13 dirtbike wreck on Highland Drive, according to the Nevada Highway Patrol.
Topaz Ranch Estates resident Carrie Hilderbrand, 47, was killed in a Sept. 23 collision on Kingsbury Grade.
Hilderbrand was the driver of a Nissan Pathfinder that drifted into the opposing lanes of the highway and into the path of an oncoming motorhome, according to the Nevada Highway Patrol.
A Taiwanese woman visiting the United States on vacation was killed Oct. 16 in a single-vehicle wreck on Highway 50.
Jiann-Juh Tseng, 72, was driving a Nissan Altima westbound near mile marker 6 at 3:10 p.m. when he left the right side of the highway and struck a tree.
Inside the vehicle with Tseng was his wife Pao-Yi Tseng, who was killed in the impact.
With eight traffic-related deaths during the year, 2015 was tied for the second most deadly in the last decade and the most deadly in four years.
Three fatal wrecks on Highway 50 at Lake Tahoe made it the county’s deadliest highway.