Kingsbury intersection the most dangerous in Douglas County |

Kingsbury intersection the most dangerous in Douglas County

Gregory Crofton, Tahoe Daily Tribune

The intersection at Kingsbury Grade and Highway 50 produced more car crashes in the last three years than any other in Douglas County, according to statistics provided by the Nevada Department of Transportation.

From November 1998 to October 2001, 34 wrecks occurred at the intersection. One of the accidents, which occurred Sept. 12, killed Mariah Davenport, a 27-year-old woman from Stateline. The other wrecks resulted in 18 injuries.

Second-most prone for accidents was the intersection at U.S. Highway 395 and Mica Drive, which is on a long, rural stretch between Carson City and Minden. It produced 29 wrecks, 22 of which caused injuries but no fatalities.

The accident that killed Davenport is still under investigation, said Douglas County District Attorney Scott Doyle.

The driver’s side door of her two-door Mitsubishi was rammed around 5 p.m. as she headed west on Highway 50. Her car was thrust off the road, sent through a chain link fence and onto Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course. She died of heart failure at the scene.

Bernard Schnipper, 72, of Glendale, Calif., hit Davenport after he drove through a red light at the bottom of Kingsbury. An investigation by the Nevada Highway Patrol recommended that Schnipper be charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Schnipper told investigators failed brakes caused him to run the light. NHP mechanics inspected the car and did not find any problems with its brakes. Doyle said another inspection of Schipper’s car must be completed before he determines whether he will file charges.

Lt. Steven Orr, head of patrol at the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department, said deputies already pay close attention to the enforcement of traffic laws at the intersection. He said drivers who race to get through yellow lights may be part of the problem.

“It’s not just isolated to that area,” Orr said. “It’s a national trend. People with busy lives are not planning far enough ahead. It just seems like any time of day people are trying to make the last second of a yellow light.”

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