Local rescue crews responded to emergency calls that flooded the dispatch center at about 1:11 p.m. last Sunday, after a passenger vehicle collided with an oncoming semi truck which then burst into flames, sending explosion sounds echoing through the valley.
According to a release from the Nevada Highway Patrol, the passenger vehicle, a silver 2005 Jaguar was traveling northbound when it drifted off the road, through the median and into the direct path of a 2010 International semi tractor trailer in the far lane. The driver, a 75-year-old woman from Ambridge, Penn. steered abruptly, causing the truck to ‘t-bone’ the vehicle, killing her passenger, a 78-year-old man also from Ambridge.
“The 56 year old male driver of the semi, from Council Bluffs, IA, steered the semi to the right, where the right side of the Jaguar struck the left front of the semi. The Jaguar was redirected in a southerly direction coming to rest on I-15 south partially in the travel lane and dirt median. The semi came to rest on the right paved shoulder where it caught fire,” the report concluded.
The first unit on the scene, according to Mesquite Fire Rescue Captain John Gately, was an ambulance from Beaver Dam Fire Department, who happened to be on their way back to Beaver Dam.
Seeing the black plume of smoke from Station 1 off of Mesquite Boulevard, Mesquite Fire put a call out for assistance from the Bunkerville and Beaver Dam Fire Departments.
“Upon arrival Emergency Medical Services personnel determined that the male passenger of the passenger vehicle had suffered fatal injuries. The female driver was transported to Mesa View Hospital for evaluation. The driver of the semi truck was not injured,” said Gately in a statement to the MLN. According to a statement from NHP Monday, the female driver was in critical condition.
On a normally traffic-congested day, the accident brought the freeway to a halt, taking nearly six hours to clear up and return to normal travels. During the cleanup of the scene, several calls were called into Beaver Dam Fire Department for patients in the traffic experiencing chest pain, problems breathing, and even one unconscious, likely all caused by the heat and lack of water that may not have been carried in their vehicles.
Both the passenger vehicle and the semi truck, which was transporting pork products, were considered totaled at the scene and towed to a local site, awaiting processing.