Man killed in head-on crash

A man was killed Monday in a head-on traffic collision on Interstate 80, and a Truckee woman faces charges of driving under the influence in connection with the fatal crash, authorities said.

John Skowronek, 67, from Truckee, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash as a result of injuries sustained in the collision, according to the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office.

Sarah Lupyak, 44, sustained major injuries in Monday’s accident and is facing at least one felony charge of driving while under the influence of a controlled substance, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Chris Falkowski. Because Lupyak was taken to the hospital following the collision, she was not booked into jail, but is expected to face charges from the incident that will be filed by the Nevada County District Attorney’s Office, Falkowski said.

The wreck happened around 12:11 a.m. Monday, near the intersection of I-80 and southbound Highway 89. According to a CHP report, officers in the area had received a report of a wrong way driver on I-80 just before the head-on collision was reported a few minutes later.

Lupyak was reportedly driving a 2005 Landrover, while Skowronek was in a 2021 Subaru at the time of the crash, the CHP report states. After arriving on scene, CHP officers found that both drivers involved in the crash had suffered major injuries, and Skowronek was shortly thereafter pronounced deceased. Lupyak sustained multiple lacerations, and had a punctured chest and lung from the accident, the report states.

After a brief investigation, it was determined that Lupyak had been driving under the influence of a controlled substance at the time of the crash, and she was placed under arrest, Falkowski said. Additionally, it is believed that Lupyak was also involved in two minor collisions that same evening before the fatal accident, the CHP report states, adding that those incidents are being investigated separately at this time.

Lupyak was released later on Monday from the hospital after being treated for her injuries. The District Attorney’s Office has not yet filed charges in the matter.

Stephen Wyer is a staff writer with The Union, a sister publication of the Sierra Sun.

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