Grass Valley woman killed in Reno wreck |

Grass Valley woman killed in Reno wreck

A Grass Valley woman killed in a car accident in Reno was trying to help her friend, who was behind the wheel and suffering from a medical problem, Reno police revealed Wednesday.

Michele Miller, 49, was killed when the 2007 Chevrolet truck she was riding in – driven by William Brooks, 53, of Grass Valley – suddenly accelerated, plowed over a planter, sped across the sidewalk and street and hit a tree, Reno Police Det. Shawn McMenomy said.

The truck traveled about 100 feet before it crashed, he said. It is unknown how fast the truck was moving, he added.

“It appears some medical event happened to the driver and (Miller) was reaching toward the driver’s side when they ran into the tree,” McMenomy said. “She was wearing a seatbelt. The impact caused the belt to cause internal injuries.”

The accident occurred at about 2 p.m. May 8 on the 6000 block of South Virginia Street at Neil Road.

Miller and Brooks had traveled to Reno to look at a trailer they were interested in buying, McMenomy said. Brooks was pulling out of a parking lot on Neil Road when he experienced the medical problem, he said. While McMenomy declined to specify what Brooks’ condition was, he said it was not a heart attack. Alcohol was not a factor in the accident, according to a Reno Police Department new release.

Miller and Brooks were transported to Renown Medical Center, where Miller died during surgery, McMenomy said. Brooks remains in stable condition at the hospital, he said.

Blunt force trauma to the chest was the cause of Miller’s death, the Washoe County Medical Examiner’s Office reported Wednesday.

Miller’s co-workers and regular customers at Sizzler restaurant on Lincoln Way in Auburn are mourning her death, Sizzler waiter Shawn Ellis said Wednesday.

“(Miller) was a very outgoing, wonderful person,” Ellis said. Miller had worked at the restaurant for at least eight years, he added.

Two of Miller’s sisters also work at the restaurant, Ellis said. The sisters have taken time off from work since the accident, and it was unknown Wednesday whether they would return to work, Ellis said.

Many of the employees at the restaurant are like a family to each other, and have worked there for more than 20 years, he said.

“So many customers are asking about (Miller),” Ellis said. “She was always happy no matter what, and she always cheered up everybody who came in contact with her.”

Miller’s family and friends are waiting to plan a memorial service for Miller until her remains are returned from Nevada, Ellis said.

To contact Staff Writer Robyn Moormeister, e-mail or call 477-4236.

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