Fatal Car Accident in Sparks

By: Auburn Hutton Email
By: Auburn Hutton Email

Darrell Gene Machado, 47 years old of Stockton, was headed North on Marina Gateway, when he hit a curb, rolled over and crashed into a light pole.

We spoke with neighbors nearby who heard the commotion.

"I just heard the car speeding fast and then there was a thump, thump. My husband woke up and I said 'oh I bet they flipped.' Sure enough, about five minutes later, sirens," said Gayle Stevens, who lives nearby.

When officers arrived on scene, they found Machado's vehicle near the mangled light pole, with these tire screech marks pointing toward the crash.

"They observed a vehicle on its side. There was a male who was partially ejected from the vehicle, who appeared to be deceased," said Sgt. Greta Woyciehowsky of Sparks PD.

Police believe the Machado was traveling at a high rate of speed before he collided with the pole...and witnesses say the sounds of the crash gave them chills.

"It was awful. I knew something was wrong. I was praying it wasn't teenagers or something," said Stevens.

Investigators are still awaiting toxicology results to find out if Machado was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but it could take weeks.

"There are two contributors here. We suspect their was speed involved, which leads us to believe he wasn't able to negotiate the turn very well and he was not wearing a seat belt. Chances are, if he was wearing a seat belt, he would have walked away with minimal injuries."

Coincidentally, only a few weeks back, there was another fatal accident only blocks away at the intersection of Prater and Pullman. That crash was between a motorcycle and a vehicle.

Police say they haven't received any formal complaints about the area, but neighbors tell us speeding and drag racing have become major problems in that portion of Sparks.


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