Teen faces hearing in fatal July crash | RecordCourier.com

Teen faces hearing in fatal July crash

by Sheila Gardner

A 17-year-old girl denied a petition in juvenile court Tuesday of reckless driving causing death in connection with a July traffic accident on Highway 395 that took the life of 16-year-old Nicole Snyder of Gardnerville.

District Judge Dave Gamble set a hearing for March 2 for Marissa Bemiss, 17.

The courtroom was packed with friends and supporters of Snyder and her parents, Patti and John, who attended the brief proceeding.

Nicole would have been a junior at Douglas High School.

Marissa’s parents also attended. She is represented by Reno lawyer Fred Pinkerton.

“When I have a juvenile proceeding as opposed to adult, an entry of denial has a tendency — especially in the minds of kids — that denigrates the system. This does not constitute a denial that the incident happened, rather, that there is a lack of evidence to prove the allegation,” Gamble said.

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Pinkerton agreed.

“The denial is that there was wrongdoing on Marissa’s part in this terrible accident,” Pinkerton said.

Bemiss was the driver of a vehicle that collided with the car driven by Snyder on July 12 on Highway 395 near Genoa Lane. Bemiss was critically injured in the crash along with two passengers who had less severe injuries.

The Bemiss family has maintained that Marissa’s car was cut off by an unidentified driver, forcing her vehicle across the median and into the path of the Snyder car that was southbound on the highway.

The investigation by the Nevada Highway Patrol has not been released to the public.

“I was thankful for the support we had this morning,” John Snyder said.

In juvenile proceedings, the defendant admits or denies the allegation rather than pleading guilty or innocent. There is no jury trial, the facts are argued before the judge in a hearing.

— Sheila Gardner can be reached at sgardner@recordcourier.com or 782-5121, ext. 214.