Nevada state snowplow driver was high on meth during wreck on Mount Rose Highway
RENO, Nev. — The driver of a Nevada state snowplow who prosecutors say was high on methamphetamine has been convicted of driving under the influence in connection with a serious accident a year ago on Mount Rose Highway.
The Washoe County District Attorney’s Office said Monday a jury found 44-year-old Eric Christiansen guilty last week of driving under the influence of a controlled substance causing substantial bodily harm.
The Nevada Highway Patrol says Christiansen was operating a Nevada Department of Transportation snow plow on Nevada Route 431 on March 22, 2018 when he crossed into the oncoming lane and struck a pickup truck driven by a 62-year-old Kings Beach, California man.
The victim suffered a fractured leg and had to have his foot amputated.
Christiansen was under the influence of methamphetamine when the crash occurred.
He faces up to 20 years in prison at his sentencing scheduled for June 6.
In a statement, NDOT said safety is a top priority for the department and it fully cooperated with the district attorney’s investigation.
“We are dedicated each and every day to building and maintaining the safest roads for Nevada,” NDOT public information officer Meg Ragonese said in a statement. “Any serious injury on Nevada roads is truly a tragedy. That is particularly true when it comes in the course of our dedicated efforts to keep winter roads open and safe for Nevada drivers.”
CORRECTION: This story originally misspelled the last name of Eric Christiansen. The incorrect spelling was provided by the Washoe County District Attorney’s Office. It has since been corrected.
UPDATE: This story has been updated to include comment from the Nevada Department of Transportation.
Tahoe Daily Tribune staff contributed to this report.