Man killed when car jack collapses |

Man killed when car jack collapses

A 32-year-old South Lake Tahoe man was killed Saturday when the car he was working on crushed him after a jack failed.

John Collins was found by his girlfriend underneath a two-door Nissan Z sports car parked in his driveway on Roger Avenue off Emerald Bay Road.

His girlfriend last spoke to Collins at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, police said. She returned from her job in Reno at 8:15 p.m. and found Collins under the right front passenger side of the Nissan.

Police officers discovered that the jack had failed after they tried to use it to lift the car off his body. South Lake Tahoe firefighters inflated air bags to lift the car. Collins was pronounced dead at the scene.

No one was at Collins’ home on Sunday. A stubbed cigarette next to a half-finished crossword puzzle lay on the driveway next to the Nissan.

A railroad tie was wedged next to each front tire. A socket wrench, a handful of sockets and a can of WD-40 were strewn under the car. The jack sat next to its right front tire, and a mechanic’s back slide sat near the front of the car with its wheels damaged.

Merle Bowman, battalion chief at South Lake Tahoe Fire Department, said he has witnessed accidents like this one before. Bowman said home mechanics must make sure the vehicle is on flat ground and its brakes are set. Then put blocks behind the tires to make sure the vehicle does not move. Use a jack to lift the car, Bowman said, but then replace the jack with jack stands, which don’t cost much, to keep the car off the ground.

In other news:

n Philip Galloway, 49, of South Lake Tahoe was booked into county jail on charges of making annoying phone calls to 911.

On Thursday, Galloway used the line designated for emergencies to ask dispatch if it was a “felony to be arrested for a felony.” Galloway used the line again before a police officer went to his residence on Heather Lake Road to tell him to stop making the calls.

On Friday, dispatch received four more 911 calls from Galloway’s home. In one call, Galloway asked for his court date because he said he had forgotten it. Police arrested Galloway at his home, phone in hand, at 11:30 a.m. on Friday.

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