Farad flume saves I-80 motorists | SierraSun.com

Farad flume saves I-80 motorists

Emma Garrard
Sierra Sun

Two motorists were left dangling over the Truckee River, after their car rolled off of Interstate 80, only to land on a wooden flume that runs between the river and the interstate.

At approximately 2:30 p.m. Sunday Michael Wiwchar was driving east-bound in the left-hand lane on Interstate 80 east from Floriston with passenger Kelly Doyle when he lost control of his black sedan and rolled 160 feet down an embankment.

The vehicle stopped when it hit the Farad Flume approximately 50 feet below the interstate.

The vehicle was suspended approximately 20 feet above the Truckee River.

After securing the vehicle to the flume using tie straps so the rear end of the vehicle would not fall, Truckee firefighters were able to remove the motorists from the vehicle’s windshield.

The victims later walked up the steep embankment escorted by firefighters.

Both victims were injured. Doyle broke her arm and Wiwchar had possible head injures and a broken jaw, said California Highway Patrol Officer Dan Hardy.

“Witnesses said the vehicle was going 65 to 70 mph with a big rig in the right lane.” Hardy said. Weather was not a factor in the accident, he said.

“When the road turns the vehicle went on the shoulder and hit the embankment causing the vehicle to roll,” Hardy said.

Doyle and Wiwchar were returning from a day of snowboarding at Alpine Meadows.