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Motorist killed in crash with wrong-way driver identified

Ramiro Meza, 58, of North Las Vegas, died Thursday morning after a head-on crash with a wrong-way driver on U.S. Highway 95.

Meza was taken to University Medical Center where he died from his injuries.

Nevada Highway Patrol trooper Jeremie Elliot said dispatchers received several calls about a Ford Explorer traveling north in southbound lanes.

The vehicle was reported on the freeway at Russell Road and made it past Flamingo Road before slamming into Meza’s Toyota just before 5 a.m.

Both of the vehicles burst into flames.

Nevada Highway Patrol trooper Loy Hixson said relatives identified the driver of the Explorer who caused the crash as 20-year-old Mario Valencia, of North Las Vegas.

Hixson said it is unclear why Valencia was driving the wrong way.

A spare tire from one of the vehicles bounced into northbound lanes, officials said. That triggered a three-car crash when a motorist stopped to remove it.

The accidents shut down the highway in both directions between Boulder Highway and Flamingo Road.

The freeway was reopened around 9 a.m.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Contact reporter Kristi Jourdan at kjourdan@reviewjournal.com or 702-455-4519.

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