Truckee Police: Alcohol, drugs played role in fatal Glenshire wreck | SierraSun.com
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Truckee Police: Alcohol, drugs played role in fatal Glenshire wreck

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

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A GoFundMe campaign was set up in May to assist Amber Harder and her family with medical expenses and other needs. Visit gofundme.com/23eg3rsw to donate.

TRUCKEE, Calif. — The 36-year-old man who died in a head-on crash in May on Glenshire Drive was driving more than twice the recommended speed limit and had a blood alcohol content three times the legal limit, officials said Monday.

At about 7:20 p.m. 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.

According to police, Patrick Wayne Smiley, 36, of Chandler, Ariz., was driving a Suzuki SX4 eastbound when he crossed over the center line and collided with a 26-foot Enterprise Rental box truck.

Smiley was pronounced dead at the scene. His passenger — Amber Harder, 30, of Truckee — suffered major injuries and was transported by helicopter to Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno. She has been on the road to recovery since.

The driver and passenger of the box truck were uninjured, according to police, who determined at the time that “excessive speed” likely played a role in the collision, and that it was being investigated to see if drugs or alcohol were also involved.

On Monday, TPD issued a statement following up on the investigation, reporting that Smiley was driving in “excess of 65 mph on a corner with a recommended speed of 30 mph.”

Further, the toxicology report showed Smiley had a blood alcohol content of 0.24 percent — three times the legal limit of 0.08 — “and that he also had marijuana and barbiturates in his system,” according to Truckee Police.

“We know that any of these drugs can cause impairment,” TPD Sgt. Robert Womack said in a statement, “but we also know that these particular drugs have a synergistic effect, causing even more impairment when taken in combination. Any loss of life is tragic but these preventable deaths are especially painful. We send our condolences to Mr. Smiley’s family and wish his passenger a successful recovery from this life altering event.”

“There are just too many alternatives available in today’s culture for people to continue to drive impaired, placing everyone at grave risks,” TPD Chief Adam McGill added.

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.

On May 12, residents and community members gathered at The Auto and Tire Doctor in Truckee for a fundraiser to assist with Harder’s medical expenses. According to the business’s Facebook page, the event raised $3,000, easily topping its goal of $1,000.

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


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