Snow storm causes several crashes
January 16, 2012
Freshly fallen snow and cold temperatures made for challenging driving conditions this morning and caused several fender benders on Interstate 80 between the E. McCarran Blvd and Waltham Way interchanges. The first of several crashes happened around 3:15 am and many more happened shortly thereafter. In all, 11 crashes took place within a three-hour timeframe with nine incidents being property damage only. Two motorists sustained minor to moderate injuries in separate accidents and were taken by ground ambulance to Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno. Crashes included single-vehicle lane departure collisions where motorists struck the adjacent guard rail or cement barriers to one call involving a vehicle rollover, to a five-car crash on the off ramp to E. McCarran Blvd.
One of the crashes this morning near the Lockwood interchange involved a Nevada Highway Patrol vehicle that was struck from behind while the trooper was out of his vehicle investigating a previous accident. He was not injured in that event.
Westbound Interstate 80 was initially closed at Mustang around 3:30 a.m. while eastbound traffic was diverted off the freeway at the Vista Blvd interchange. At approximately 5:25 am, the westbound closure was extended to the Wadsworth interchange where traffic was held or turned around primarily due to the icy roadways and to prevent further crashes from occurring on that stretch of the freeway. Deputies from both Storey and Washoe Counties assisted our agency with traffic control as well as officers from the Sparks Police Department.
Both directions of traffic were opened at around 7 a.m. after the involved vehicles were cleared and the freeway travel lanes were sanded once more by the Nevada Department of Transportation personnel.
As a reminder, when roadways are snow covered or wet and temperatures are at or below the freezing mark, motorists should consider the roadway surfaces to be icy and slick. Please allow more time for your commute and be aware of other stalled or spun-out vehicles during these driving conditions.