The three victims traveling in the GMC pickup were driver Troy Sibson, 47, and passengers Noel (Mike) Sotka, 52, and Douglas (Jason) Counterman, 30. All three men were residents of Fernley and were employees of the Pioneer Crossing Casino based in Fernley and Dayton.
The fourth fatality victim was Ford Tucker, 18 of Fallon, who was the passenger in the Dodge truck driven by Daniel Holley.
The fiery crash involving three vehicles, each towing a trailer, happened Wednesday morning shortly before 9 a.m. as troopers from the Nevada Highway Patrol were dispatched to the multiple-vehicle collision which occurred approximately 10 miles east of Dayton near mile marker 21, several hundred feet west of Caroline Way. The crash investigation details found so far indicate that a 1989 Dodge Ram 250 pickup pulling a double-axle livestock trailer carrying eight young steers or heifers was traveling eastbound on the two-lane highway. Following behind the Dodge and green trailer was a 1995 Ford F-350 towing a white livestock trailer carrying seven full grown cows. Both of these pickups had only one passenger riding in the cab.
Traveling westbound approaching the Dodge truck was a GMC crew cab pickup towing a two-axle flatbed trailer transporting a piece of equipment labeled as an electric scissor lift. Witnesses to the event stated the Dodge pick-up veered into the oncoming lane possibly because the livestock trailer was swerving back and forth or fishtailing. The front of the Dodge struck the left front portion of the GMC pickup in the westbound travel lane. Upon colliding, both pickups caught fire while the green livestock trailer separated or became unhitched from the truck. The green trailer struck the concrete barrier on the north roadway edge and then veered into the eastbound lane where it struck the eastbound white Ford pickup. The Ford pickup and white trailer remained hitched and skidded off the south roadway edge. The white trailer remained upright while the Ford rolled over onto its right side.
The driver of the Dodge truck sustained very serious injuries and was taken from the scene by Care Flight to Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno. He has been identified as 19-year-old Daniel Holley of Dayton while the two occupants of the Ford pickup, 47-year-old Robert L. Holley of Dayton (Daniel’s father), and 9-year-old Anna Holley (Daniel’s sister), were transported by ground ambulance to Renown with minor to moderate injuries. Daniel was transferred to the University of California, Davis Medical Center late last evening and his updated medical condition is unknown as of Thursday.
As for the livestock involved in the crash, the green trailer overturned and ejected all eight yearlings. One died at the scene and the other seven had some visible injuries. Six of the seven were gathered quickly and placed into a holding pen by local residents in the area while the other yearling remained loose. The seven adult cows did not appear to be injured at all. All 14 bovines were later transported to Fallon to be checked by a veterinarian. The animals were apparently being transported from the Dayton area to the Fallon Livestock Exchange.
The highway was closed immediately following the collision and was later re-opened shortly after 5 p.m.; however, personnel from the Nevada Department of Transportation and Granite Construction assisted our agency with the traffic dilemma by rerouting traffic onto the adjacent sides of the highway shortly after the crash occurred.
Trooper Doug Hildebrand of the Major Accident Investigation Team or M.A.I.T. is investigating this case. Witnesses to the event are encouraged to call him at 689-4623 regarding case number NHP-120814458.