Toxicology results in Highway 395 crash come back negative

John Veader had not been drinking or using drugs when his truck swerved across the median of Highway 395 into oncoming traffic, according to results of toxicology tests taken by the Washoe County coroner.

"Everything was negative," a coroner's spokesperson said Saturday. "All the way across the board. No drugs, no alcohol -- nothing."

Veader, 26, died Oct. 18, along with two women -- Jessica Ann Gomes, 45 and Michelle Campbell, 39, both of Gardnerville -- after a three-car pileup at 3:30 p.m. on Highway 395 near Mica Drive in Minden.

He was heading north, home to Mound House after work, when the accident occurred.

"He was going to pick me up after work," said his widow, Keri Veader. "He called me about about 15 minutes before the accident happened. We were going to go to the Grill Rotisserie, I think."

While Veader was driving toward Carson City his truck swerved across the median and launched off the dirt embankment. The truck came down on a 2002 Audi driven by Campbell and then was hit by a 1999 Buick sedan driven by Gomes. The women died at the crash scene.

A Care Flight helicopter took Veader to Washoe Medical Center. He died a short time later.

"When he didn't show up to pick me up I panicked," said his wife. "I came home and a Lyon county Sheriff's Deputy knocked on my door. I was the first to find out."

The Veaders had planned to celebrate their third wedding anniversary on Wednesday. They were going to spend the evening bowling at the Pi-on Plaza.

"I thought that would be a nice time. Bowling was one of his favorite things to do." said his wife.

"In fact he said he had a surprise for me for our anniversary." she said. "I guess I'll never know what it was."

John Veader's father, Robert, was relieved by the clean toxicology report.

"That was such wonderful news," he said. "We knew all along but that just confirms it."

He is now ready to proceed with the investigation into any mechanical failure in the truck his son was driving. The family has possession of the vehicle and both Robert and Keri are hopeful that further inspection will find a cause for the crash.

"I've shed a lot of tears for my son. He was a wonderful, warm-hearted person," said Robert Veader. "I'm very happy to move on from here."

John and Keri Veader's daughter, Nicole, plays in the The Red Hot Bell Peppers handbell group at Carson Middle School.

"She actually performed at the memorial service," said her mom. "It was beautiful."

John and Keri Veader had planned to move to Seattle where they had family and friends. "We just loved the scenery," said Keri.

She's not sure if she'll still move north, though she's waiting for a permit to scatter John's ashes there.

"I'm kind of taking it one day at a time," she said. "There's a lot of things to take care of. I'm having enough trouble just imagining life without him."

Veader feels relief at the results of her husband's toxicology tests.

"We were really devastated and I have to say this makes it a little better," she said.

She is glad the truth is being released. "There was a lot of rumor and speculation. That's why we've been kind of quiet and wanted to deal with the facts."

Veader graduated from Carson High School in 1994. He married Keri Hill on Nov. 27, 1999.


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