A police report indicates the governor was at fault in the accident, which took place in Las Vegas.
CARSON CITY – Gov. Steve Sisolak, driving alone without his security detail, was cited for failure to yield to oncoming traffic in a two-car accident in Las Vegas Sunday where he and the other driver both received minor injuries, according to a police accident report released Wednesday.
The other driver, a 30-year-old woman, was cited for speeding, according to the report. Both she and the governor went to the hospital as a precaution after the accident and were released within hours.
Because the governor “attempted a left turn on a flashing yellow arrow, failing to yield the right of way to northbound traffic, (the governor) was determined to be at fault for the collision,” the investigating officer wrote in his conclusion.
According to the report, the 67-year-old governor was southbound on South Rainbow Boulevard and making a left turn onto West Russell Road about 12:40 p.m. The other driver, who was not identified, was driving north in oncoming traffic. The accident was captured on surveillance video from a business near the scene.
The governor told investigators he was in the left-turn-only lane with a blinking yellow signal, which means drivers must yield to oncoming traffic. According to the report, the governor said he “he pulled forward slightly into the intersection to see if it was clear.” A northbound vehicle at the intersection was partially blocking his view.
The other driver told police the light was green in her direction but turned yellow as she entered the intersection.
The governor said a vehicle behind him “beeped the horn to proceed.” He pulled forward slightly more and was struck by the oncoming vehicle. The governor’s car got spun around and ended up on the property at the northeast corner of the intersection. The other vehicle hit the traffic signal on the corner, knocking it over.
No signs of impairment
A field sobriety test was administered to the second driver but not to the governor, and “no signs of impairment were observed,” according to the report. The report did not indicate why only one driver was tested. Both vehicles were towed from the scene and both drivers went to the hospital, where they were released after a couple hours. The intersection was cleared a little after 5 p.m.
The second driver told police she was traveling at the posted 45 mph speed limit at the time of the accident. An analysis of her vehicle’s on-board computers determined that she was “traveling at 62 mph 1.5 seconds prior to the collision and decelerated to 43 mph at the moment of impact.” The governor’s car was traveling at 15 mph at impact, investigators found.
The police report notes that Nevada Highway Patrol is conducting a parallel investigation.
Usually travels with driver
Meghin Delaney, the governor’s communications director, said the governor typically travels with his security detail, which includes a driver, but is not required to do so.
Earlier Wednesday, Sisolak made light of the incident while speaking at a traffic safety summit at Palace Station attended mostly by traffic safety professionals, law enforcement and first responders.
“Some would probably find it ironic that I’m at a traffic safety symposium after the weekend I had,” he joked. “I have a better appreciation for what all of you do after what I went through. I really am appreciative and thankful to be here today.”
The governor through a spokesperson declined the Review-Journal’s request for additional comment at the event. Delaney said later the governor didn’t answer questions because the report hadn’t yet been released. It was released late Wednesday afternoon.
Contact Capital Bureau reporter Bill Dentzer at email@example.com. Follow @DentzerNews on Twitter. Review-Journal reporter Mick Akers contributed to this story.
Accident report by Las Vegas Review-Journal on Scribd
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