Sparks Teem Killed In Auto Accident

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

A Sparks teenager on his way home from skateboarding with friends at a neighborhood park was killed when his car crashed into a pickup truck, authorities said.

Police said Edward "Eddie" Leon Baker Jr., 16, was making a left turn onto Pyramid Way and apparently didn't see an oncoming 1997 Ford pickup truck.

The truck, driven by Carlos Herrerias-Garcia, 55, slammed into the driver's side of Baker's Mazda.

The Reed High School sophomore was taken to Washoe Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead following the 11:30 a.m. crash Wednesday.

Authorities say Herrerias-Garcia suffered broken legs. His 11-year-old son, who was also in the truck, escaped with minor injuries.

"Worlds changed today," said Sparks Police Sgt. Michael Cardella.

Investigators said the impact knocked the Mazda into a wooden fence. The pickup crashed into two fences before Herrerias-Garcia steered down an alley and between two concrete pillars before crashing into the window of a vacant office building.

Cardella said Herrerias-Garcia tried to stop his truck, but his accelerator pedal was stuck to the floor due to the impact with Bakers car.

Students are on spring break, but word of Baker's death swept through the community.

Classmates and teachers said Baker was a quiet youth who liked to help others.

Teacher Ruth Hagan said asked Baker to tutor Erik Layne, a student with cerebral palsy. Baker, read to him, took him to the library, checked out books and talked to him about football and girls.

"Unlike other kids his age who can be self-centered, he was very unselfish," Hagan told the Reno Gazette-Journal. "The student was making phenomenal progress in reading and I attribute this to Eddie.

Danny Fawcett, another Reed student, rushed to the accident scene near Burgess Park where Eddie had been skateboarding after another friend called about the accident.

"We didn't know it was true at first," said the 17-year-old. "I came here to prove it to myself."

School administrators said grief counselors will be available to help students and teachers with the loss.


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