RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - February 14, 2019 is a day Nevada Highway Patrol troopers say they will never forget. It was Valentine’s Day and a storm rolled through the Sierra. Icy conditions caused a woman driving on I-580 near the Galena Creek Bridge to spin out and stop against the guardrail.
“It was a horrific set of circumstances and we hope that it doesn’t happen again. The last thing we want to see out here is another fatality,” NHP Trooper Matt McLaughlin.
According to the Nevada Highway Patrol, the woman’s husband, who had been driving separately behind her, drove past his wife’s car and parked in front of her. NHP says he then got out of his car and was hit by another driver who lost control. He died on the scene.
“The sides of the road are a very dangerous place. If you find yourself involved in a crash the last thing that we recommend that you do is exit your vehicle,” says McLaughlin.
Trooper McLaughlin says it’s something we all would have done, but says in a similar situation, as difficult as it may be, it is important to make your individual safety top priority and never leave your car.
“Keep yourself safe inside that car. There’s safety features that that vehicle has, air bags, seatbelts, that even if you are involved in a secondary crash, they are going to help keep you safe. Much safer than being outside your vehicle,” says McLaughlin.
McLaughlin adds you should call 911 immediately and make yourself and your car as visible as possible, by putting on your 4-way flashers.
“It’s not a bad idea to carry a reflective safety vest, a flashlight, things like that in your car that you can put on that will make you a little more visible and hopefully prevent that crash from happening that seriously hurts or injures somebody,” says McLaughlin.
Making decisions during a stressful event is never easy, but the Nevada Highway Patrol hopes Northern Nevada drivers are prepared to handle them.