A man was killed in a head-on collision Thursday when a pickup truck crossed into oncoming traffic on State Route 28 in Lake Tahoe‘s Carnelian Bay, about 15 miles southeast of Truckee.
• A pickup truck crossed the center line on a mountain freeway and crashed head-on into an oncoming truck.
• The driver who was at fault died at the scene. The other driver was hospitalized with major injuries.
• Alcohol was not a factor in the accident.
California Highway Patrol Sgt. Eric Strecker said a Toyota Tacoma pickup truck that was traveling westbound at about 40 mph on the two-lane highway veered across the solid double yellow lines into the eastbound lane just east of Ridgewood Drive.
The Tacoma crashed head-on into an oncoming Toyota Tundra pickup truck that was traveling eastbound at about 40 mph, Strecker said. Both trucks slid off to the side of the roadway (see photo).
The driver of the Tacoma died at the scene. The other driver suffered major injuries and was transported to Tahoe Forest Hospital in Truckee, where he was admitted for treatment.
Strecker said alcohol was not a factor in the crash.
The CHP withheld the identities of both drivers, pending notification of their families. Both vehicles were registered to addresses in Tahoe City, according to the accident report.
Why Rural Highways Are Dangerous
Only 23 percent of the U.S. population lives in rural areas, but 57 percent of all motor vehicle accident fatalities occur on rural roads, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The NHTSA’s latest figures show that the fatality rate per vehicle miles traveled was 2.5 times higher in rural areas than in urban areas.
A large majority of car accident deaths in rural areas — 67 percent — occur on highways, where the speed limit is 55 mph or higher. In urban areas, the opposite is true: 68 percent of all fatal crashes occur on roads where the speed limit is less than 50 mph.
Rural highways often are only two lanes, which presents significant danger to motorists who use the oncoming traffic lane to pass at high speed.
Finally, hospitals are few and far between in rural areas. The risk of dying on the way to the hospital is significantly higher in a rural accident than an urban one.
Tahoe/Truckee Car Accident Lawyers
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