As today marks the first day of winter, Pahrump Valley Fire and Rescue Chief Scott Lewis is reminding valley motorists to be aware of road hazards along Highway 160.
The hazards, Lewis said, are wild horses and burros making their annual winter pilgrimage from the mountains and foothills down to the valley floor seeking milder temperatures.
That action became apparent to one area resident last Wednesday evening along north Highway 160 near Country Place Road when the driver struck two burros walking in the travel lanes just after sunset.
“Upon arrival, we found a gold SUV with one deceased burro on the side of the road,” Lewis said. “A second one had sustained serious injuries and was dispatched by a Nye County deputy on location.”
Lewis provided a few safety tips for drivers who regularly use that stretch of highway each week.
“This is an opportunity to mention again that with the cold temperatures up in the mountains and foothills, the wild horses and burros are coming down to the lower areas and it seems to us, that anywhere above Irene Street at Highway 160 has been a trouble spot.”
Additionally, Lewis said that drivers need to be extremely careful by lowering their speed and avoid overdriving their headlights.
“Motorists always need to watch for that kind of activity so no one gets seriously injured or killed,” he said. “We have had several similar accidents in the last month and a half involving burros in the area of Highway 160 and Simkins Road. Drivers need to use extreme caution.”
Last Thursday, Dec. 15, fire crews responded to Highway 372 near Bannavitch Street for a single-vehicle crash just before 4 p.m.
“We were dispatched for an injury motor vehicle accident and rollover on Highway 372, where the initial report was one person entrapped inside the vehicle,” he said. “Upon arrival, we found an overturned vehicle resting on its roof. The driver had been pulled from the vehicle by bystanders. There were injuries to that occupant and they were transported to the local hospital. The local helicopter was unavailable due to weather and there was significant damage to the vehicle as a result.”
Lewis also said those who witness a crash should use caution while tending to the patient(s).
“If someone happens to arrive upon an accident that just occurred, they should just try to keep the position of the occupant found in the vehicle,” he said. “In this case, there was an odor of gasoline emanating from the vehicle so they thought it was prudent that they pull the occupant out of the vehicle.”
The driver, who was conscious following the crash, is expected to recover from their injuries.
The cause of the crash is under investigation.
The following morning, fire crews were in the right place at the right time while transporting a patient to a Las Vegas hospital from Pahrump.
“They came across a four-vehicle accident with entrapment just north of the Mt. Potosi turnoff on Highway 160,” Lewis said. “Crews, as well as two of our off-duty career firefighters stopped and offered assistance and provided care until the arrival of Clark County Fire.”
Lewis also noted that during a period on Saturday, between the hours of 2:13 p.m. and 5:57 p.m., fire crews were dispatched and responded to at least four motor vehicle collisions throughout the valley, occurring almost one after the other.
“The fortunate part was there were no serious injuries, including one of the accidents that involved a pedestrian who chose to seek medical treatment on their own.”
On Sunday, fire crews were summoned to a structure fire just before 5 a.m.
“This occurred on the 2800 block of West Quail Run Road,” Lewis said. “The initial report was smoke showing from a large accessory building to the rear of the property.”
Upon arrival, Lewis said crews found a fire condition, as reported.
“There was smoke showing from the eaves and the door frames,” he said.
“They found an interior and exterior fire on that building which contained several vehicles and numerous personal property throughout. Fire crews were quickly able to extinguish it with no extensions and there were no injuries reported.”
Lewis said the cause of that fire appeared to be accidental in nature.
On Monday, Dec. 19, fire crews were dispatched for another reported structure fire on the 4100 block of East Norway Street.
“Upon arrival, crews found a light haze within the structure,” he said. “It was found to be a malfunctioning HVAC heater which had not extended beyond the appliance and there were no injuries reported.”
Collision closes road to Pahrump
Three people were hospitalized Friday morning after a head-on crash on Blue Diamond Road near Mountain Springs.
Two pickup trucks collided just before 10 a.m. in a southbound lane near mile marker 19, according to Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Jason Buratczuk.
Buratczuk said three people were taken to a hospital, but he did not know the extent of their injuries.
Lanes of Blue Diamond Road, also known as State Route 160, were closed following the crash but were reopened about 12:30 p.m.
The Nevada Department of Transportation said the crash was outside the $16.5 million widening project.
The work is expanding SR-160 in Clark County from Red Rock Canyon Road to mile marker 16.63 from two lanes to four lanes.
Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org