Faulty brakes determined not to be the cause of Kingsbury Grade fatality | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Faulty brakes determined not to be the cause of Kingsbury Grade fatality

by Gregory Crofton

A 72-year-old man who killed a Stateline woman last month when he drove through a red light at Kingsbury Grade and U.S. Highway 50 told investigators faulty brakes caused the collision.

“He claimed he stepped on the brakes, but we did a mechanical check and they worked just fine,” said NHP Trooper Roy Baughman, an accident reconstruction specialist. Baughman reported no skid marks were found at the scene.

The NHP’s investigation should be completed this week. It will be sent to Douglas County District Attorney’s Office where prosecutors will determine whether Bernard Schnipper, of Glendale, Calif., will face criminal charges because of his driving.

“The report shows he was apparently normal, so I don’t think there was any alcohol involved,” said NHP Trooper Patrick McGill. “He was probably confused because he was from out of the area and probably not paying attention.”

Mariah Davenport, 27, died shortly after Schnipper’s gold 1998 four-door Ford plowed into the driver’s side door of her black 1998 two-door Mitsubishi.

The impact of the wreck sent her car from the westbound lane of U.S. Highway 50 and through a black chain-link fence that encloses Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course. Davenport died from cardiac arrest before a helicopter could transport her to Washoe Medical Center.

Schnipper’s car also collided with a white 1999 Isuzu driven by Darryl Tweten, 53, of Reno, who was driving westbound in the right lane. Tweten was uninjured in the wreck.

Paramedics transported Schnipper and his wife, Barbara, 66, to Barton Memorial Hospital with minor injuries. Bernard was released Sept. 12, the day of the accident. The hospital released his wife three days later.

Davenport lived at South Shore for six years and was an avid outsdoorwoman. She had an 11-year-old son and worked for Advanced Billing Concepts in South Lake Tahoe for the last two years.

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