NHP: Driver Swerved to Avoid Animal

MINDEN, Nev. (AP) - An accident that left one person dead and shut down a main highway may have occurred when a driver swerved to
avoid an animal in the road, the Nevada Highway Patrol said Thursday.

Jeannie Darlene Hawkins, 39, of Bishop, Calif., and her passenger, Thomas Riley Overly, 50, of Spring Hill, Fla., were heading north on U.S. 395 about 8 miles south of Minden when she apparently swerved into oncoming traffic to avoid an animal, Trooper Chuck Allen said.

Her 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee, that also carried six dogs, crashed head on into a GMC sport utility vehicle driven by Maricela Madrigal-Delopez, of Wellington.

Overly was pronounced dead at the scene Wednesday afternoon.
Four dogs also died.

Hawkins and Madrigal-Delopez were flown to Regional Medical Center in Reno with serious injuries.

The accident shut down the highway for more than 2 hours. Allen said the investigation was continuing.

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