By Kelsey Givens
A 61-year-old man was fatally injured after his motorcycle collided with a Chrysler 300 at the intersection of State Route 372 and Barney Street Sunday evening.
Scott Cornwell, a long-time resident of Pahrump, was reportedly traveling down State Route 372 on his Harley motorcycle when the female driver of a white Chrysler 300 pulled out onto the highway in front of him from Barney Street.
Cornwell subsequently struck the side of the woman’s vehicle and was fatally injured by the impact. The woman behind the wheel of the Chrysler was reportedly uninjured in the collision, though appeared to be heavily shaken by the incident.
Pahrump Valley Fire Rescue Services, the Nye County Sheriff’s Office and Nevada Highway Patrol were all called to the intersection around 5:10 p.m., Trooper Loy Hixson, a NHP public information officer, said.
State Route 372 was shut down in both directions for some time that evening as first responders began an investigation into the cause of the accident.
Troopers reportedly found that the female driver was at fault, but the incident remained under investigation as of Tuesday.
Friends and family were still reeling from the news Monday that they had lost a man they say was one of the most giving, caring and selfless individuals they had ever known.
“He was giving, always giving. Taking care of foster kids. You know people we know that have foster children, he was always donating stuff to them and taking stuffed animals over to them. He made time for anyone that needed it,” long-time friend Bill Browning said.
Cornwell was described as the kind of person who was always willing to help others or volunteer in the community, especially when it came to children in need.
“He always helped with the Christmas run we do,” Ralph “Red” Pillman, of the Tribe Motorcycle Club said. “Even when he would say he wasn’t going to be as involved one year, I’d start getting calls from him saying ‘Red, I’m in Las Vegas and I have a business here who wants to donate three bikes,’ or ‘I know this store said they would donate three bikes, I’m going to go back and see if they want to donate more.’ That’s just the kind of person he was.”
Cornwell was also reportedly a long-time active member of the Pahrump First Step Club.
Though Cornwell was always trying to find a way to help others out, he didn’t do it for the thanks or notoriety — he did it because he felt it was the right thing to do, Pillman said.
“It was hard to get a photo of him because he was always the one taking them,” Pillman said. “He didn’t want to be the center of attention.”
Aside from helping others, another of Cornwell’s great passions in life, friends said, was his motorcycle.
“That was immaculate, I mean like taking a Q-tip to clean it immaculate,” Pillman said. “He loved that bike.”
On the weekends, Cornwell and a group of close friends were known to take a ride out to California for lottery tickets.
“He told one group if he ever won he was going to build them a chapel out here,” Pillman said.
Cornwell was on his way back from one such ride to Shoshone with close friend Mike Mederski to attend a memorial service in Pahrump on the afternoon of the accident.
“He was doing what he loved to do. He was riding his motorcycle and listening to the blues,” Browning said.
Though they’re sad to know their good friend is gone, both Browning and Pillman said Cornwell would not want people to be angry with the other driver involved in this incident.
“I sat with her, and she’s a good Christian lady, and she just feels terrible about what happened,” Pillman said.
“I think Scott would just ask that we pray for her because she’s going through a rough time, too,” Browning said.
A memorial service is planned for Cornwell’s friends and family at Oasis Outreach, located at 1061 Second St., on March 23 at 3 p.m.
His final resting place will be alongside his mother and father in a family plot in Whittier, Calif.
Pillman said a description of himself Cornwell wrote on his Facebook page perfectly described his attitude toward life.
“It’s the simple things for me, blue jeans, t-shirt, love the beach, mountains, packing up for a day or more ride on the Harley. Spending time with friends, sharing life times, good or bad. Having that one special lady to share it all with, a fireplace going while watching a movie at home. Being able to love the time together just because you have each other.”
Cornwell is the second fatality on Pahrump’s highways in as many weeks.
NHP recently identified the 70-year-old man killed while trying to cross State Route 160 on March 3 as Galloway, Ohio resident Charles Fisher.
Fisher was reportedly attempting to walk westbound across the highway outside of any marked pedestrian crosswalks when he crossed into the path of an oncoming 2001 white Ford F-150 pickup truck traveling southbound on State Route 160.