Driver killed after I-80 police pursuit ends in crash |

Driver killed after I-80 police pursuit ends in crash

Kevin MacMillan
Special to the Union

TRUCKEE — A 42-year-old Reno man involved in a high-speed chase with the California Highway Patrol on Interstate 80 Monday afternoon was killed after his vehicle collided with a dirt embankment and rolled several times.

The driver, whose name has yet to be released, was reported to CHP at about 1:30 p.m. as driving recklessly at high speeds and using the shoulders on I-80 eastbound at Dutch Flat as passing lanes. A CHP Gold Run Area unit responded and got visual confirmation before trying to make a traffic stop.

The vehicle, a 1989 BMW 3 Series convertible, failed to yield and accelerated to speeds exceeding 100 mph. The pursuit continued eastbound into the Truckee CHP area, where another unit entered the pursuit, according to the highway patrol.

CHP officers continued to pursue the fleeing vehicle eastbound over Donner Summit, with the BMW abruptly exiting at Donner Pass Road, driving over the overcrossing and entering I-80 westbound.

As the suspect approached Soda Springs in excess of 100 mph, he entered a coned-off lane closure where the California Conservation Corps was working. Because there were construction vehicles and workers within the closure, the suspect made an aggressive turning movement to the right in order to exit the coned area.

He then lost control of the BMW before colliding with a dirt embankment and overturning several times. As the BMW overturned, it struck two California Conservation Corps workers as they tried to get out of the way.

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Fresno resident Linda Heuangpaseud, 23, suffered a head injury and was air-lifted to Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno by CareFlight, while Fresno resident Jose Gabriel Garcia, 19, complained of shoulder pain, according to CHP.

The driver of the BMW was pronounced dead at the scene. The release of his name is pending next-of-kin notification.

According to a Caltrans press release, the highway was completely closed to westbound traffic while CHP investigated the incident.

Kevin MacMillan is the managing editor of the Sierra Sun, sister publication to The Union.

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