Two injured in 395 south accident
December 22, 2004
Two people were injured in a lunchtime accident on Wednesday at Virginia Ranch Road and Highway 395 south of Gardnerville.
Robert McGraw, 64, of Gardnerville and Susan Mann, 32, of Bishop, Calif., were injured when Mann struck the rear of McGraw’s van, knocking it nearly 100 yards into a stand of trees.
Both of the injured were helicoptered to Washoe Medical Center in Reno. Trooper Todd Hartline of the Nevada Highway Patrol said McGraw had two broken legs as a result of the crash. Mann suffered facial injuries from the airbag. She was kept at the hospital overnight for observation, Hartline said.
Witnesses to the accident said Mann’s gold Toyota was southbound in the slow lane at a high rate of speed when she slammed into the rear of a brown van.
The force of the impact knocked the van a hundred yards into a stand of trees off the highway.
Motorist Nancy Park said she was in the fast lane when she saw the car pass her.
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“She was going so fast, I looked into the rear view mirror to see if she was being chased,” Park said. “Her brake lights never came on. That poor man in the van.”
Motorist Rob Harbottle said he didn’t even see the woman until she passed him.
He said he was driving the speed limit when the vehicle passed him on the right.
According to Hartline, a northbound Douglas County patrol deputy spotted Mann heading south at a high rate of speed. The deputy had just turned around to make a traffic stop when Mann struck the rear of McGraw’s van.
“She was passing vehicles in the center turn lane,” he said. “She and the deputy were a long way apart and he’d not activated his lights. We’re not sure if she even saw him.”
Mann will be cited for reckless driving as a result of the accident.
Hartline said McGraw had been forced under the dash by the accident, but was able to talk as rescuers freed him.
The southbound lanes of Highway 395 were closed and traffic diverted into the northbound lanes for about an hour after the accident.
Harbottle said he travels that stretch of Highway 395 about four times a day and that it is usually safe.
No one was seriously hurt in an accident at Highway 208 and Pearl Road 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.
A large sedan rolled over onto its top near the intersection. Firefighters and medics responded to the accident, but the occupants of the vehicle refused treatment.