It has now been over 2 months since the June 18th crash in which a truck driven by Frederick Matthews, 41, of San Diego lost control on Mt. Rose Highway, entered an escape ramp which failed to stop his truck. The truck crashed into a home and burned, killing Matthews and destroying the home.
In an article published by the on August 20, 2010 there is no timetable for the investigation into the accident. In a quote taken from their article:
Trooper Chuck Allen, public information officer for the Nevada Highway Patrol, said the reason for the delay is an overload in cases pending criminal prosecution that are taking priority over the June 18 incident that killed Frederick Matthews, 41, of San Diego.
“The reason prosecution investigations take priority is that there are pending life-changing issues that come out of those that include lifetime in jail or prison time,” Allen said.
In previous articles on this accident, the Nevada Highway Patrol stated that the investigation on this accident should be completed within 30 days. This delay is suposedly stopping the Nevada DOT from determining whether the escape ramp is safe, even though it has previously failed to stop runaway trucks in the past.
“The accident investigation piece is a key piece to what we need to do,” said Scott Magruder, NDOT public information officer, who added that currently, the ramp remains unchanged from its pre-existing condition.
“It is operational,” Magruder said. “We still feel that it's going to be able to work and function.”
A quote from a reader at the Sierra Sun:
It's my understanding that this ramp had already had a couple of other failures over the years which include a beer truck and cement or gravel truck.
Mr. Allen states that “the reason prosecution investigations take priority is that there are pending life-changing issues that come out of those that include lifetime in jail or prison time."
I would suggest to Mr. Allen and Mr. Magruder that the failure of the ramp constituted a "life-ending issue" to Frederick Matthews, 41, of San Diego and that it may very well constitute a "life-changing issue" to the next driver who expects that ramp to perform to specification.
Jeers to the State of Nevada for not taking care of this known public safety issue.
There is NO reason that NDOT is failing to address the failure of the escape ramp on Mt. Rose Highway. It has failed more than once. Why do they need to wait for the Nevada Highway Patrol to investigate this accident before they act? Who else must die before the people in charge of the safety on the highways get off their duffs and FIX IT!
If it had been fixed after the previous runaway truck ran through the ramp designed to STOP it, maybe Frederick Matthews, 41, of San Diego would still be ALIVE!