Air bags may have helped avert tragedy on Kingsbury Grade |

Air bags may have helped avert tragedy on Kingsbury Grade

Icy conditions on Kingsbury Grade led to a violent head-on collision just after 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Patricia Conley, of Gardnerville, lost control of her green 1996 GMC Yukon when she hit a patch of black ice while ascending the east side of State Route 207. Conley crossed the center line and hit a large white GMC pickup driven by Brad Kawchack, who lives in Minden and works at the Eagle’s Nest Restaurant at the top of Kingsbury.

Both Conley and Kawchack sustained minor injuries, but did not seek immediate medical treatment.

“She was fishtailing around the corner and just smacked into me,” Kawchack said. “I got way out of the way trying to miss her but she flew right across the line as soon as I got abreast of her.”

Visibly shaken, Kawchack said his truck was pushed up onto the rocky slope at the side of the road before crashing back down to the pavement, and stopping 30 feet down the highway.

He said he had a sharp pain in his neck and that he smashed his arm and shoulder on the right side. Kawchack also had visible cuts on his forehead and hands, and said his wife would take him to the hospital.

Both drivers were wearing seat belts and both vehicles’ air bags deployed.

“It is hard to say if the air bags had an impact,” said Nevada Highway Patrol officer Don Curtis. “But for the most part they have a positive impact and they save more lives than they cause harm.”

Shortly after 3:30 p.m. another vehicle rolled over on Kingsbury’s west side. No one was injured.

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