Crash claims life at 89 and Alder Creek |

Crash claims life at 89 and Alder Creek

Kelly Ruane
Sierra Sun

A two-car accident at the intersection of Highway 89 and Alder Creek Road Friday morning left one driver dead and the other uninjured.

Police identified the victim as Kyle Van Arsdale, 21, of Truckee.

“I think a major part of this accident is the design of this intersection,” said Truckee Police Officer J.D. Elliot at the scene of the collision.

The crash occurred at 7 a.m. when the driver of a blue Toyota sedan on Alder Creek Road attempted to cross Highway 89 from east to west. The driver of a black Chevy pickup heading north on 89 was unable to stop and broad-sided the smaller sedan.

The victim’s car slammed into the metal barrier on the west side of the highway. The driver appeared to have died on impact, Elliot said.

A citizen stopped and was attempting to revive Van Arsdale when emergency personnel arrived. Van Arsdale was pronounced dead at the scene.

Cal Trans Maintenance Supervisor Glenda Chappell, who also stopped to help, said the same intersection was the site of another fatal accident in 1999 that took the life of 11-month old Luke Schaffner.

An improperly installed car seat was blamed for the fatal outcome of the June 15, 1999, collision. The accident spurred the parents to start the Luke Schaffner Memorial Foundation and the Luke Schaffner Safety Day, when parents are invited to have their car seats checked by technicians.

Truckee resident Serita Cox, who lives near the location of Friday’s fatal crash called the intersection of Highway 89 and Alder Creek a dangerous location.

“There are near-accidents there every day,” Cox said. “It’s a combination of people speeding down the highway and that corner being completely blind. It looks wide open and suddenly there’s a car.”

Caltrans workers directed traffic at the accident site for more than two hours while the Truckee Police Department conducted an investigation.

No alcohol or other impairment appeared to be involved, said Elliot.

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