Injured driver stable |

Injured driver stable

Gregory Crofton

A man who fell asleep at the wheel Monday and suffered serious head injuries after his pickup rolled off U.S. Highway 50 west of Echo Summit remained in serious but stable condition Thursday.

Richard Albanese, a chef at a Stateline casino, moved to South Lake Tahoe from Santa Clara, Calif., several months ago after he and his wife separated. He lived at the Chris Haven Mobile Home and RV Community at South Lake Tahoe for a short time before setting up his RV at a cabin in Silverfork, Calif.

Monday was a day off from work for Albanese. The 61-year-old headed east on Highway 50 with a load of garbage meant for the dump at South Lake Tahoe.

He was about 20 miles into his journey when he dozed off two miles west of Sierra-at-Tahoe. His green and white Ford pickup launched off a mound of dirt on the side of the road, rolled twice and came to rest wheels down wedged against a pine tree.

“He’s just had trouble going over that summit lately,” said Mary Stephens who owns the Silverfork cabin Albanese helped clean out. “I don’t think he was sleeping enough. He mentioned he kept getting tired.”

Witnesses reported that Albanese’s pickup had been weaving off the road since Camp Sacramento at Twin Bridges, said the California Highway Patrol.

Stephens said Albanese made a successful trip to the dump a week before. With all the garbage hauled away, Albanese planned to help Stephens remodel her cabin.

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