An apparent failure to see a semi-tractor-trailer rig stretched out across both lanes of U.S. 93 resulted in the death of 63-year-old Raymond Joseph Slomski, Jr. of Phoenix, Ariz., the evening of Dec. 26.
Nevada Highway Patrol Sergeant Guy Davis reported the accident happened about 7:40 p.m. a little south of the entrance to Western Elite on 93, a section of the highway that is not covered by lights.
According to police reports, a southbound Kenworth semi-tractor-trailer rig hauling apples out of Washington likely suffered one or two tire blowouts. The driver, a 62-year-old man from Othello, Wash., name not given, tried to make a U-turn, but became high centered on the east shoulder and, unable to move, blocked both the north- and southbound lanes.
Soon afterwards, a northbound GMC Yukon driven by Slomsik, who was along in the vehicle, did not see the trailer due to the lack of running lights on the side, and slammed into the right side of the trailer.
Davis said Pahranagat Valley Fire and Ambulance responded and took the Slomski to a regular rendezvous location with Flight for Life at Coyote Springs, where he was then taken to Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George. However, Davis said it was his understanding the Slomski died en route to the hospital.
U.S. 93 was closed in both directions for a number of hours as the wreckage was cleared.
Davis said the name of the truck driver has not been released as the investigation is continuing into the possibility of charges being filed.