I-80 crash kills Truckee resident: Driver of car traveling on wrong side of road dies at scene near Farad
A Truckee man was killed Monday while driving his car on the wrong side of Interstate 80 near Farad.
Steve C. Stewart, 42, was driving his Ford Tempo toward Reno in the westbound lanes of I-80 when he hit a Nissan Altima occupied by Kin Man Lee, 42, and Yean Chang Lim, 27, both of San Francisco, according to California Highway Patrol officer Ron Wulff.
Stewart was pronounced dead at the scene by fire and rescue personnel shortly after 4 a.m., while the victims were Careflighted to Washoe County Medical Center in Reno, Wulff said. Rescue personnel had to cut Lim from the passenger side of the vehicle, he added.
As of Tuesday, Lim’s condition was serious, while Lee was described in satisfactory condition.
Several truck drivers reported seeing a vehicle traveling on the wrong side of the highway from the CHP weigh station in eastern Truckee. Wulff said the report placed the car about five miles east of the scales near Farad.
Investigators believe Stewart’s car, while in the westbound lanes, hit the center divider before slamming into the Nissan. The victims were wearing safety belts and both airbags deployed, Wulff said. Stewart was wearing his shoulder harness.
“The Nissan didn’t have any time to move because of the curves in the road,” Wulff said referring to the narrow, twisting stretch of highway between Truckee and Verdi. “This is something the driver had no chance to do anything about.”
Investigators could not determine where Stewart entered I-80. There are access roads at Floriston and Hirschdale.
The accident forced westbound I-80 to be closed from 4 to 6 a.m. at Gold Ranch in Verdi until a preliminary investigation could be completed. Stewart was transported to the Nevada County Coroner’s Office and autopsy results are pending. Wulff said it is unknown if the wrong-way driver had been drinking.
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