Drivers urged to heed weather advisories

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MOUNT ROSE HIGHWAY, Nev. (KOLO) - Another storm is coming and first responders are hoping drivers will make safer decisions than they did during Saturday’s storm.

Nevada Highway Patrol NHP logo.

“We had one patrol car that was hit twice up there while trying to assist other people. People were losing control. We had cars that were passing our troopers that were not chained up, even though they shouldn’t have even been coming up and over Mount Rose, they weren’t chained up like they should have been and the people just simply weren’t making good decisions,” says NHP Trooper Matt McLaughlin.

McLaughlin says Saturday’s storm was one of the worst NHP has encountered in the last several years in terms of snow fall, crashes, and stranded drivers.

“The snow was so bad and we had high winds up there so the visibility was absolutely zero. There was nothing that anybody could see.”

McLaughlin adds conditions weren’t inconvenient; they were life threatening, and that’s why Mount Rose Highway was closed, but he says drivers ignored the flashing road closure signs.

“While that should be enough to get people’s attention and have them pay attention and not keep going and try to traverse Mount Rose, motorists weren’t doing that.”

It took a combined effort from personnel with NHP, the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue team, and NDOT to reach stranded drivers.

“We ended up shuttling many, many people in our patrol cars to Incline to hotels even down to Reno, just to get them to safety for the night.”

Although, McLaughlin says they got everyone to safety too many lives were out at risk and he hopes this week people take the road signs seriously.

“The most important thing is pay attention; if the signs are up that say the road is closed, it is not a joke, the road is closed.”

Choosing to drive through a storm is a choice that doesn’t affect just you.