A medical incident or episode is believed to be the cause of a non-accident traffic death in Lincoln County April 18.

Sheriff Kerry Lee said a phone call to the dispatch center from a truck driver on SR 318 about 11:30 p.m. noted that a small vehicle was “parked in an odd spot off the highway with its headlights on,” about half-a-mile south of the Lincoln County-Nye County line, about 60 miles north of Alamo.

No Nevada Highway Patrol Troopers were available at the time to investigate, Lee said. However, around 5:30 a.m. the next morning, another call from a motorist noted a vehicle in the same spot, with the headlights on.

Lee said NHP Troopers were sent to investigate and what was found was a northbound four-door KIA Soul, which had gone off the highway, over a culvert, through a barbed wire fence, through some brush and come to rest up a small hill.

NHP Troopers reported the vehicle was still in drive with the engine running and found a deceased driver slumped over onto the seat. The vehicle bearing Washington plates was registered to 70-year old William Derion from Bremerton, Washington.

Las Vegas Highway Patrol sent their fatal team to investigate and after contacting the family and the man’s doctor about his medical history, it is believed he may have suffered a heart attack or a stroke while driving that night. Lee said, “There was some damage to the vehicle, but no trauma to the body, as the vehicle did not role over, and appears the death was not the result of going off the highway, rather of some sort of medical episode.”

Pahranagat Valley Ambulance and EMS was also dispatched, but were not needed.