Driver going the wrong way killed on I-80 Saturday

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Updated: 12/03/2012 5:44 pm
FERNLEY, Nev. (KRNV & -- A driver going the wrong way on Interstate 80 near Fernley was killed in a head-on crash Saturday night.

Around 9pm, Nevada Highway Patrol says they received a call that a small, silver Sedan was going westbound in the eastbound lanes. Several minutes later, a trooper saw the wrong-way driver near mile marker 52 and attempted to stop the driver.

Despite the emergency lights, siren activated, and narrowly missing a collision with the wrong-way vehicle, the driver continued to travel westbound in the eastbound lanes.

NHP says the portable road spikes or “stop sticks” were deployed to stop the wrong way vehicle near the Wadsworth area, yet the vehicle continued traveling west despite running over the stop sticks. At around 9:15 pm, the wrong way vehicle collided with three other vehicles near mile marker 39, or approximately seven miles west of Fernley.

Richard S. Vogel, 21, of Mariposa, California, was driving his black 2002 Ford F-150 pickup and swerved toward the right lane to avoid striking the wrong way vehicle head-on. The sedan going the wrong way hit the left rear portion of his boat trailer before traveling head-on into the vehicle that was following directly behind, a light green 1998 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup driven by his brother, 22-year-old Justin C. Vogel, also from Mariposa.

NHP says moments after the Honda and Dodge collided and while both vehicles were still in motion, a fourth vehicle described as a white 2005 Chevrolet Silverado pickup traveling eastbound, driven by Barry J. Strickler, 64 of Elko, tried to avoid hitting the two vehicles which were occupying both eastbound travel lanes.

Strickler and Richard Vogel escaped injury while Justin Vogel received moderate to serious injures and was airlifted from the crash scene by Care Flight and flown to Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno.

The driver of the Honda, 41-year-old Tonya Babashoff of Fernley, died from her injuries and was pronounced deceased at the scene. NHP is waiting on a toxicology report to know whether alcohol, drugs, or prescription medication contributed to the impairment of her driving.

Both lanes of eastbound Interstate 80 were blocked for about an hour to secure roadway evidence and diagram the locations of the involved vehicles.

Witnesses, or anyone with additional information, are encouraged to contact NHP at (775) 689-4661 regarding case number NHP-121200751.

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