Christmas accident results in two deaths |

Christmas accident results in two deaths

Two deaths resulting from an Interstate 80 accident could have been prevented had the victims been wearing seat belts, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The accident occurred on Christmas at about 5:46 p.m. on east bound I-80 near the Donner Summit rest area. The cause of the accident is still under investigation, but resulted in the driver and rear-left passenger being ejected from the vehicle and sustaining fatal injuries.

“The vehicle went in a north-east direction and struck the snow-covered hillside.” said investigating CHP Officer Mike Kotko. “It then overturned several times, coming to rest in an upright position.”

Kotko said three other passengers in the vehicle sustained minor to moderate injuries, and were taken by ambulance to Tahoe Forest Hospital.

CHP closed east bound I-80 at Soda Springs, rerouting traffic over Old Highway 40, for more than two hours, Kotko said.

He said that the driver and passengers were from Sparks, but CHP hasn’t released any identities.

The cause of the accident is being investigated, but Kotko said there were no witnesses except the passengers in the vehicle.

“We are putting the puzzle together piece by piece ” we have to put all the physical evidence at the seen and get statements from the passengers in the vehicle,” Kotko said.

He said weather was not a factor, and didn’t think alcohol was either.

“Alcohol is not thought to be a factor, but we’re still waiting for a toxicology report,” Kotko said.

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