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Driver killed in wrong-way crash on I-15 identified

Updated November 14, 2019 - 2:20 pm

A suspected drunk driver traveling the wrong way on Interstate 15 was killed in a multivehicle crash Thursday morning.

Nevada Highway Patrol trooper Jason Buratczuk said the crash happened about 3:30 a.m., when a woman driving a dark-colored vehicle believed to be a Volkswagen was heading the wrong way on northbound I-15, between Lake Mead Boulevard and Cheyenne Avenue.

The Clark County coroner’s office identified the driver as 27-year-old Ericka Avila. Her cause and manner of death were still under investigation as of 2 p.m. Thursday.

“Impairment is suspected,” Buratczuk said at the scene.

Avila nearly hit a vehicle head on, he said. That driver avoided the collision by driving their vehicle into the center median barrier.

She continued and struck a small white SUV head on, he said. Avila’s vehicle flipped and smashed into the center median barrier, killing her.

The SUV was then struck from behind by another vehicle.

Two people in the SUV were taken to University Medical Center with nonlife-threatening injuries.

The motorist in the other vehicle was not seriously injured.

“Unfortunately for the Highway Patrol wrong-way drivers are not new and uncommon,” Buratczuk said. “Our graveyard troopers see it almost nightly. The majority of the time it involves impairment (and) 99 percent of the time the fatal crash happens in the left travel lane.”

The crash snarled traffic from Lake Mead back to the Spaghetti Bowl for several hours during the investigation. The interstate reopened just before 9 a.m.

Contact Glenn Puit at gpuit@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0390. Follow @GlennatRJ on Twitter.

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