On Monday, July 21 around 1 a.m. a reported “vehicle fire,” was called in the the Sheriff’s station, said Sheriff Kerry Lee. The incident was on SR 319, near mile marker 63 on the east side of Panaca Summit and once Lee and other deputies arrived, realized it was a rollover accident.

Lee said the vehicle, a one-ton Dodge pick up pulling a tandem axle trailer, appeared to have veered into the oncoming traffic lane, and then overcorrected, rolling over numerous times before crashing off the north side of the highway into some trees.

The trailer had a diesel fuel tank that caught sparks from the crash that started, “small brush fire,” and the vehicle was reported, “fully engulfed in flames,” by the time Lee had arrived on the scene at 1:30 a.m.

The EMS, fire department and Sheriff’s department were all deployed to the scene. Two engines, a brush stroke and a structure engine, were called to the scene.

The driver was thought to have been a worker of a mining company of some sorts, with tools in the trailer. Yet no one was at the scene of the incident. Sheriff Lee and the other deputies searched for two hours on scene, unsuccessful in locating the driver or possible remains.

The Bureau of Land Management fire crews arrived to “mop up the scene,” along with Nevada Highway Patrol, said Lee, and the county deputies started back home. However, after arriving back in town, the crew had called in that the driver came wandering out of the trees and went straight to NHP officers.

“Alcohol could have been involved,” said Lee. 

The driver refused medical treatment but was transported to Grover C. Dils medical center for blood work. After arriving to the hospital, the driver eventually agreed to treatment, and was life-flighted to Las Vegas for injuries.