Camper wreck on I-80 snarls Labor Day traffic

Kevin MacMillan
Traffic was backed up for miles on westbound I-80, seen here at about 3 p.m. Monday.
Amy Edgett / |

TRUCKEE, Calif. — Two Bay Area residents were airlifted to the hospital for head injuries suffered in a Labor Day wreck on Interstate 80 near Truckee.

According to the California Highway Patrol, a 2002 Ford Expedition driven by Tigran Musayelyants, 27, of San Francisco, was towing a 1994 Dutchmen camper trailer westbound when it crashed at about 2:20 p.m. Monday near the Hirschdale/Boca Reservoir off ramp just east of Truckee.

The camper began to sway from side to side, according to CHP, and Musayelyants lost control. Both the trailer and Expedition rolled, and the upside-down SUV struck the interstate’s concrete wall, crushing the cab into the driver and front-passenger areas.

Musayelyants suffered moderate head injuries and was airlifted to Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno. A passenger, Olga Pastel, 27, of San Francisco, suffered major head and neck injuries and also was airlifted.

A second passenger —25-year-old Tatsiana Musayelyants, also of San Francisco — suffered minor cuts and scrapes and was transported by ground ambulance to Renown.

Both westbound lanes and center median were blocked, and westbound traffic was closed at various times for about three hours.

Each Labor Day, traffic is especially heavy on the interstate between Reno and San Francisco due to vacation crowds leaving the Tahoe/Truckee area, coupled with the westbound exodus of vehicles leaving the annual Burning Man festival in nearby Gerlach, Nev.

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