Witness 'It was like a movie': Man injured after slamming into wall, vehicles, power pole and hydrant

Shannon Litz/Nevada AppealFirefighters remove the roof from a pickup truck involved in an accident on Thursday afternoon near the Frontier Plaza.

Shannon Litz/Nevada AppealFirefighters remove the roof from a pickup truck involved in an accident on Thursday afternoon near the Frontier Plaza.

A Carson City man was taken to the Reno trauma center Thursday afternoon after plowing his vehicle into a block wall, two cars, a power pole and a fire hydrant on Carson Street.

Josh Harper, 23, sustained a broken leg and had to be cut from the wreckage of his Ford F150 extended cab pickup following the 3 p.m. accident in the 1800 block of North Carson Street. No other injuries were reported.

Bobby Thind, owner of the Frontier Motel, said he was standing outside his convenience store when he saw Harper's northbound pickup veer across the lanes and head right toward him.

"I thought he was coming at me," said Thind. As the pickup slammed into a cinder block wall, Thind said he ran into his store convinced the truck was coming in behind him.

When he looked back, however, the pickup, which he estimated moving in excess of 40 mph, ricocheted off the wall and made a beeline for a southbound Ford passenger van carrying Ed and Mary Reed of Dayton.

"We were just coming down the road and this truck came across, hit the wall and bounced off. I swerved because I saw it coming. Otherwise, he'd have hit me head on," said Ed.

"I thought for sure he was going to hit us," said Mary, "then Ed moved over and he just hit the back end."

"He was coming pretty fast," said Ed.

Lynn Jordan said she was southbound when she witnessed the truck hit the wall and the van.

"Then he was speeding up the sidewalk toward me so I pulled into the center lane to give him space. That's when he hit a fire hydrant, and he was aiming right for a concrete light pole. I thought that was going to stop him, but it didn't," she said. "The concrete pole and power line came flying toward me, and I thought, 'Is this it?'"

Jordan said she ducked down. When she looked up again, the power line had landed on the left side of her vehicle and the concrete on the right side.

Jordan said she watched as the pickup, still on the sidewalk, barreled toward a Toyota SUV, driven by Kin Wong, waiting to pull out in to traffic from Mario's Auto Repair.

"I just came from an oil change. I was not moving," said a still visibly shaken Wong as she sat on a curb near her disabled Toyota. "I heard bang, bang, bang, then I saw him and thought, 'Oh no! Oh no!'"

Wong said she froze and braced herself for the impact.

Jordan said it looked like Harper tried to swerve to avoid hitting the Toyota. Harper's vehicle ripped off the Toyota's front bumper. The northbound Ford F150 then continued along the southbound sidewalk before being stopped by a large sign outside the Evergreen Center.

Thind said when the truck stopped he ran up to it.

"He looked confused. I was like, 'What's wrong with this guy.' I said, 'Are you OK?' and he said, 'I'm OK.' and I called the police," said Thind.

Firefighters spent nearly an hour cutting Harper, who was conscious and talking, from the mangled wreckage.

"It was a difficult extrication the way he was pinned in there," said Carson City Fire Battalion Chief Bob Charles. "They had to cut away everything to even see what they were dealing with."

The incident shut down traffic between Long Street and Winnie Lane for about two hours. Debris and tire marks on the sidewalk spanned two blocks. A power pole and the fire hydrant lay in the street and a power line extended from the corner of Bath Street on the west side, to the east lanes in front of Carson Coffee.

The cause of the accident is under investigation, said Sheriff Ken Furlong.

"I've never seen something like this," said Wong, her hands shaking. "It was like a movie."


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment