Man pleads guilty to fatal Lyon County crash

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FERNLEY, Nev. (KOLO) - The man arrested in the wake of a fatal crash on US50-US95 Alternate in Lyon County has pleaded guilty.

54-year-old Stephen Murray of Alta, California entered the plea in Lyon County District Court March 20, 2017 to one count of DUI (Controlled Substance) causing the death. He was sentenced to serve a minimum of 6 to 20 years within the Nevada Department of Corrections.

About 11AM December 14, 2016 Nevada Highway Patrol troopers were sent to a head-on crash at Quarry Road, about mile marker 10.

The NHP investigation indicated a Mercedes Benz being driven by Murray was headed north on US50A when he crossed over the center yellow median lines. A Honda Civic driven by 25-year-old Stephen Johnson of Silver Springs was headed south on 50 approaching the Mercedes. NHP says Murray allowed the Mercedes to cross over the center lines and drive left of center in a no-passing zone, causing the left front of the Mercedes to hit the left front of the Honda. Johnson was killed; Murray was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Investigators say both drivers were wearing seat belts.

Another driver immediately behind the Honda ran over debris from the crash, but avoided hitting either of the two vehicles.

A witness to the crash was on the phone with NHP dispatchers when the crash happened, referring to Murray as a “reckless driver.” Investigators say they suspect he was impaired and results of the legal blood draw are pending. After being released from the hospital, Murray was booked at the Lyon County Jail in Yerington for DUI-Drugs with death, Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of Marijuana, and Driving left of Center.

Photos courtesy NHP
Photos courtesy NHP
Mugshot courtesy Lyon County jail