Mariposa brothers survive I-80 crash that killed wrong-way driver
12/04/2012 7:01 AM
12/04/2012 10:55 PM
Two brothers from Mariposa were involved in a multiple-vehicle crash over the weekend that killed a wrong-way driver east of Reno, the Nevada Highway Patrol reported.
According to authorities, drivers along Interstate 80 started calling in reports of a wrong-way driver at 8:58 p.m. Saturday. A small silver sedan was going west in the eastbound lanes.
Several minutes later, a trooper saw the driver and tried to stop the car, but it kept going. The trooper got into the westbound lanes of the highway and tried to get ahead of the car.
Officers deployed road spikes, but the car did not stop after going over them. Roughly 15 minutes after the original calls, the car hit three vehicles seven miles west of Fernley.
The first of those was a Ford F-150 pickup pulling a boat trailer driven by Richard S. Vogel, 21, of Mariposa. According to police, Vogel saw the car, a silver 2003 Honda Civic, approaching and swerved into the right lane to avoid it. The Civic struck the left rear of the boat trailer before crashing head-on into the pickup right behind it, which was driven by Vogel's 22-year-old brother, Justin.
Because both vehicles were still in motion, a Chevrolet Silverado pickup heading east hit them.
The driver of the Silverado, Barry J. Strickler, 64, of Elko, and Richard Vogel were not hurt. Justin Vogel suffered moderate injuries and was taken by helicopter to a Reno hospital.
The driver of the Honda, identified as Tonya Babashoff, 41, of Fernley, died at the scene.
Investigators said they are awaiting the results of toxicology tests to know whether alcohol, drugs or prescription medication contributed to the incident.
Editor's Choice Videos
Join the Discussion
The Modesto Bee is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.