Driver arrested after truck overturns
INCLINE VILLAGE – An out-of-state truck driver escaped serious injury but was later arrested after rolling his semi-truck and trailer at the intersection of Mount Rose Highway and Highway 28 on Monday afternoon.
The driver, Kevin Roberson of Raceland, La., appeared to have lost control of the big rig as he came down the hill, reaching a speed of about 55 mph, according to Washoe County Sheriff’s Deputy Greg Nauman, the first law enforcement official on the scene.
“I was just pulling out of the substation when I saw this truck fly by,” Nauman said. “I lost sight of him when he went around the curve, but I knew he wouldn’t make the turn, and all four tires were smoking.”
Roberson’s failure to use a runaway truck ramp, along with driving on a suspended commercial license, failure to retain a log book and driving into oncoming traffic, resulted in his arrest at the Western Village Hotel in Sparks yesterday morning, said NHP Public Information Officer Chuck Allen.
“Mr. Roberson was treated for minor injuries and released from Washoe Medical Center, and after the incident was investigated,” Allen said, “he was arrested on four misdemeanor charges.”
Kingswood resident Carl Mielke, who was driving west on Highway 28, had a front-row seat as the truck filled with potted plants came careening down the grade.
“As I approached 431, I looked to the right … and saw the truck, with all four wheels smoking, come into my lane, hit the median and flip over on the guard rail,” Mielke said. “He crossed about 40 feet in front of me. It was close.”
Mielke recounted the accident, realizing that fate and timing saved him from being in the path of the runaway truck.
“When I was at the stop light at Southwood, the light turned green and the car in front of me was slow to react,” Mielke said. “I’m glad he hesitated because if I would have arrived at 431 a split second sooner, the truck would have hit me.”
Nauman pointed to fate and a sturdy guard rail for preventing a bigger tragedy.
“If that guard rail hadn’t held as good as it did, the truck could have ended up in someone’s living room,” Nauman said. “The driver was very lucky to get out of that alive and I hate to think what the result would have been if the truck had gone through the rail.”
Nauman, who left the scene after the Nevada Highway Patrol arrived, said he was puzzled as to why the driver failed to use the runaway truck ramp located toward the bottom of the hill.
“Either he decided he didn’t need to because he thought he could handle it, or he’s new in the area and wasn’t familiar with it,” Nauman said.