Three dead in I-80 wrecks | SierraSun.com
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Three dead in I-80 wrecks

Nik Dirga, Sierra Sun

It was a deadly week on the roadways in and around Truckee last week, with three fatal accidents in the area.

Local law enforcement officials warn visitors and locals alike to drive safe over the Memorial Day weekend.

“Slow down and pay attention,” said Todd Kettwig, California Highway Patrol public affairs officer for the Truckee station.

Most of the construction projects in the Truckee/Tahoe area will shut down Thursday and no work is planned over the holiday weekend, he added.

“All of the Interstate 80 projects will shut down,” said Kettwig. “That will hopefully reduce congestion.”

Three fatal accidents occurred on and around Interstate 80 between Wednesday and Friday last week.

On Wednesday, May 16 at 2:15 a.m., a San Francisco woman was killed in a multiple vehicle accident on westbound I-80 near Emigrant Gap. Lee Aw, 43, suffered major injuries in the crash and later died. No information about the cause of the accident was available, and the CHP is still investigating the incident.

Also Wednesday, Craig Allen Jenkins, 29, of Visalia, was killed in a freak accident at a construction site on I-80 east of Soda Springs Road when he was run over by a dump truck also working the site.

The truck, driven by Jeffrey Len Clemens, 43, of Doyle, Calif., was backing up and struck Jenkins as he walked behind the truck at about 8:55 a.m. Jenkins suffered fatal injuries.

“As the rig was backing up, for whatever reason he stepped between the rig and the grinding machine,” said Kettwig.

The driver of the truck and the victim were subcontractors and not Caltrans employees.

No charges will be filed against Clemens in the accident, said Kettwig.

On Friday at about 7 a.m., a lone Reno driver was killed when his 1991 Toyota Corolla crashed on I-80 westbound near Hirschdale Road.

Rodney L. Robinson, 41, was traveling at an excessive rate of speed, according to the CHP report, when he entered a sweeping left curve in the roadway.

Robinson’s vehicle swerved out of control and his vehicle flipped into the center divider, up an embankment and overturned onto its roof. Robinson sustained fatal injuries in the accident.

“His neck was broken in the crash,” said Kettwig. “He was not wearing a seat belt and we feel he probably would have survived if he had.”


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