By Kelsey Givens
Power to the traffic light at the intersection of state routes 160 and 372 was knocked out late Thursday afternoon after the driver of a black Chevy Avalanche apparently drove up on the sidewalk, hitting the power supply for the light.
Nye County Sheriff’s deputies and Pahrump Valley Fire and Rescue Services were dispatched to the intersection after 4 p.m. for a report of a single-vehicle accident and no power at the intersection.
When they arrived they discovered the large, white main power box for the traffic light, as well as a large metal sign and several other smaller power boxes had been taken out by a 45-year-old woman from Arkansas who was behind the wheel.
It appeared the driver of the Avalanche was heading northbound on State Route 160 when she somehow came off the roadway, driving up on the sidewalk, striking several items, before coming to a complete stop a little ways down the road just before the large outdoor sign for the Pahrump Nugget.
At least one half of the large white power box the woman hit lay shredded in the roadway, while the other half could be seen laying crumpled underneath her truck. The front end of the Avalanche was slightly smashed in from the impact of the incident and later had to be towed from the scene.
Other indicators of the extent of the damage to the intersection from the collision could be seen in the live wires on the ground of the corner nearest Gold Town Casino, where the power box had been ripped from the ground, and a large metal sign alerting drivers to the junction of the two highways that also lay bent, almost in half, on its side in the grass near the casino’s gas station.
Though there was extensive damage done to physical property at the scene, no one needed to be transported by medics for medical care.
Police had to shut down the northbound lanes of State Route 160 from just past the entrance to the gas station at Gold Town Casino all the way to the entrance for the Pahrump Nugget as they documented the crash.
Using their patrol cars and flares, officers made a barrier around the intersection, directing traffic through Gold Town and the Nugget to continue northbound on the highway, which caused major traffic delays in the area for hours while the power to the traffic light remained off.
The Nevada Department of Transportation had to bring a used power box out to the scene to replace the one damaged in the incident. Though it took almost all night for crews to fix the light and get it working again, power was eventually restored to the intersection.