Truckee police say toxicology reports show that a driver killed in a May 8 crash that seriously injured his passenger had a blood-alcohol content that was three times the legal limit.
The crash occurred about 7:21 p.m. on Glenshire Drive at Old Highway 40. A 26-foot Enterprise rental box truck was westbound on Glenshire Drive when an eastbound Suzuki SX4 crossed over the center line and collided with the truck, according to police.
The driver of the Suzuki, 36-year-old Patrick Wayne Smiley of Chandler, Ariz., was pronounced dead at the scene. His passenger, 30-year-old Amber Harder of Truckee, suffered major injuries and was taken by air ambulance to Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno. The driver and passenger in the box truck were not injured.
Officers determined that Smiley had crossed into oncoming traffic and that speed contributed to the collision. Smiley’s vehicle was traveling more than 65 mph on a corner with a recommended speed of 30 mph, according to a Police Department news release.
Officers were unable to determine whether alcohol or drugs were involved until they received toxicology results last week. In addition to a 0.24 percent blood-alcohol content, the report showed Smiley had marijuana and barbiturates in his system, according to news release issued Monday by police.
“We know that any of these drugs can cause impairment, but we also know that these particular drugs have a synergistic effect, causing even more impairment when taken in combination,” Sgt. Robert Womack, the Police Department’s Traffic Unit supervisor, said in a written statement.
Police officials said the town of Truckee continues to provide alternatives to drinking and driving, including ride shares and taxis, as well as a free Thursday evening shuttle service during the summer. The Thursday shuttle service, offered through Aug. 18, provides free transportation from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. between downtown Truckee and Donner Lake, Squaw Valley, Sierra Meadows, Brockway, Northstar, Prosser and Glenshire.