Man, 36, killed in head-on crash in Truckee Sunday evening |

Man, 36, killed in head-on crash in Truckee Sunday evening

Kevin MacMillan
A look at the scene of the crash on May 8 on Glenshire Drive.
Courtesy Truckee Police Department |

How you can help

A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to assist Amber Harder and her family with medical expenses and other needs. Visit to donate.

UPDATE: 1:30 p.m. Monday, May 9


TRUCKEE, Calif. — Excessive speed appears to have been a factor in a fatal head-on accident that occurred Sunday evening on Glenshire Drive, police said.

At about 7:20 p.m. Sunday, May 8, officials from the Truckee Police Department and Truckee Fire Protection District responded to the wreck on Glenshire Drive at Old Highway 40, in the area of the S-curve near the eastern entrance of the Glenshire subdivision.

“A 26-foot Enterprise Rental box truck was traveling westbound … a Suzuki SX4 was traveling eastbound when the two vehicles collided,” according to a TPD statement Monday. “The exact cause of the collision is still under investigation…”

According to police, Patrick Wayne Smiley, 36, of Chandler, Ariz., was driving the Suzuki when he crossed over the centerline of the road and collided with the box truck.

Smiley suffered fatal injuries in the crash and was pronounced dead at the scene.

“His family and friends have been notified, and the Truckee Police and Truckee Fire’s thoughts are with them today,” according to Monday’s statement.

A passenger in the car — Amber Harder, 30, of Truckee — suffered major injuries and was transported by helicopter to Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno.

The driver and passenger of the box truck were uninjured, according to police.

Harder is a Truckee local, having graduated in 2004 from Truckee High School, where she excelled at softball, among other activities. She has a young daughter, Chloe.

Smiley, meanwhile, reportedly recently was living in Glenshire/Truckee, although he originally hails from Arizona.

Based on initial investigation, “excessive speed” appears to have played a role in the collision, according to police.

“It is unknown at this time if intoxicants were involved, but that will be investigated further,” TPD Sgt. Russ Walsh said in Monday statement.

In an email interview later Monday, TPD Chief Adam McGill said the speed limit at that section of Glenshire Drive is 30 mph for westbound traffic and 45 mph for eastbound traffic.

“… Preliminary (investigations) suggest the Suzuki was exceeding the posted speed limit, but we won’t release the actual speed determination until the (investigation) is complete,” McGill said.

McGill added that “it appears the box truck was within the speed limit.”

Further, the investigation will remain open until all analysis is complete, “including autopsy/toxicology, which can take a month or more,” he said.

Glenshire Drive was shut down for a few hours Sunday evening to through traffic while officials investigated and cleaned up the scene.

“The Truckee Police Department also wanted to remind everyone to drive at safe speeds and not to exceed the posted speed limit,” according to Monday’s statement. “Lower speed collisions are exponentially more survivable.”

Anyone with information on the wreck should contact TPD Officer Mark Victors at 530-550-2320.

Support Local Journalism


Support Local Journalism

Readers around Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and beyond make the Sierra Sun's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.