Rollover on H-395 in south Douglas kills Simi Valley woman

A Simi Valley, Calif., man traveling north through Douglas County en route to Burning Man late Saturday night rolled over his Toyota vehicle killing the female passenger, according to Nevada Highway Patrol.

Drugs may be involved.

The driver, a 25-year-old Hispanic male, fell asleep at the wheel of a 2005 Toyota Scion XB, a low-to-the-ground vehicle somewhat like the PT Cruiser, and drifted off the shoulder, according to NHP Sgt. Mark Clark.

He struck a sign and the vehicle rotated and then overturned. The 24-year-old white female passenger, also from Simi Valley, was pronounced dead at the scene.

"It appears she was not wearing a seatbelt," Clark said.

Next-of-kin had not yet been notified.

The accident occurred about 11:35 p.m. several miles south of the Fish Hatchery in Gardnerville.

The driver was flown to Washoe Medical Center for treatment. Clark described his injuries as mostly "bumps and bruises," but did say there was a large gash in the back of his head.

Clark said marijuana was found in the car and that the driver's tongue was green, an indication of use.

The case will be forwarded to the district attorney to determine what charges will be filed.

Saturday's incident brings to 12 the number of people who have died in traffic accidents in Douglas County this year - eighth since July 15. In all of 2004, eight people lost their lives on Douglas County roadways.

The sudden increase in fatal accidents prompted Douglas County Sheriff Ron Pierini to ask for additional units, which began patrolling last week.

n Contact reporter Maggie O'Neill at or 881-1219.


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