Crime - Sacto 911

Wrong-way freeway crash kills 1 south of Reno

One person died and two others were critically injured in a wrong-way, head-on crash early Sunday on Interstate 580 in Nevada’s Washoe Valley.

Three additional vehicles were involved in secondary crashes shortly afterward, according to a Nevada Highway Patrol report.

The accident occurred south of Bellevue Road at about 2:15 a.m. when a Honda Accord, traveling southbound in I-580’s northbound lanes with its headlights turned off, struck a northbound Ford Expedition head-on. The crash occurred on a stretch of freeway between Reno and Carson City.

A passenger in the Expedition was pronounced dead at the scene. The Expedition’s driver and the wrong-way driver, Jackie Contreras, 34, of Carson City, were taken to Renown hospital in Reno with critical injuries, the Highway Patrol said.

The names of the Expedition’s passenger and driver are being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

After the initial crash, a vehicle whose driver was unaware of the accident struck an unoccupied vehicle whose driver had stopped to assist. A fifth vehicle then struck one of the vehicles involved in the secondary crash.

None of the people in the last three vehicles suffered life-threatening injuries, according to the report.

Alcohol or drugs are being investigated as a factor in the cause of the head-on crash.

The accident occurred about three weeks after another wrong-way collision that killed two people and critically injured two others on Interstate 80 in the Reno area. That head-on crash, which involved alcohol, happened at 3:15 a.m. May 23.

The Sacramento region this year has had four wrong-way crashes on freeways that resulted in 14 deaths.

Sunday’s crashes, which shut down I-580 for several hours, is being investigated by Trooper Chris Kelley. Anyone who witnessed the accidents or who may have information related to them is asked to contact Kelley at (775) 689-4661 or regarding case number NHP-150601193.