Family of teen killed in 395 accident takes case to governor |

Family of teen killed in 395 accident takes case to governor

Geoff Dornan

Steven Chambers, 17, and a group of friends and family gathered Thursday at the Capitol to protest a decision by NDOT to not install a traffic light at Stephanie Way and Highway 395. Chambers' twin sister, Bridget, was killed when her car was hit by a driver making a left-hand turn at the intersection July 15. / Cathleen Allison / Tribune News Service

CARSON CITY – The family and friends of a teen killed in an accident at Stephanie Way and Highway 395 in Douglas County petitioned the governor on Thursday for a traffic light there.

They left with a promise from the governor’s legal counsel to seriously consider the request.

Richard Chambers, whose daughter Bridget was killed when another driver ran into her vehicle, said the Department of Transportation doesn’t believe the intersection warrants a light. He said there have been five injury accidents at that intersection this year and there were 15 in 2003.

“The numbers are there. The accidents are there,” he said, adding that Douglas County officials, including the sheriff, agree a signal is needed at Stephanie. In fact, he said, Douglas Sheriff Ron Pierini signed the petition.

NDOT’s studies, he said, “only serve them.”

He said the study showing no signal is warranted “is full of crap” because the intersection has met federal standards for a traffic signal for at least 10 years.

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Chambers, his wife and children, along with a dozen or so friends are asking Gov. Kenny Guinn to direct NDOT to install a signal.

On the way they first took their case to the street with signs asking support from drivers passing the state capital. Many motorists on Carson Street – which is U.S. 395 – honked horns and waved indicating their support.

Keith Munro, the governor’s legal counsel, said he met with the group and will present the petition to Guinn as well as have a copy sent to NDOT.

“These are very nice people,” he said. “This warrants consideration and we’re going to give it (consideration).”

Chambers, himself a Los Angeles County police officer, objected to the suggestion the accident was somehow caused by his daughter’s lack of driving experience.

“The other driver had like 70 years experience and he’s the one who made the mistake,” he said. The driver authorities say caused the accident was over 70 years old. He said the problem is with the intersection and that Guinn has the power to fix that.