A Nevada Highway Patrol trooper was seriously injured when a drunken driver plowed into the rear of a marked cruiser as it sat in the emergency lane of the Las Vegas Beltway near Eastern Avenue on Saturday afternoon, authorities said.
Motorists on the Beltway had called 911 about 3 p.m. regarding a white Mercury Grand Marquis that was being driven dangerously, trooper Kevin Honea said. At that time, the Mercury was eastbound on the Beltway passing Tropicana Avenue.
“Witnesses described him driving 70 to 90 miles per hour and weaving in and out of lanes, including the emergency breakdown lane,” Honea said.
As other troopers were trying to catch up with the Mercury, a trooper who had just finished assisting a motorist waited in the inside emergency breakdown lane near Eastern, Honea said. That trooper had heard about the Mercury on his police radio and was watching for it to come by.
Instead of passing the trooper, however, the Mercury slammed into the back of the Highway Patrol car. There was no evidence, such as skid marks, to indicate that the driver of the Mercury tried to brake before the crash, Honea said.
The injured trooper was taken to University Medical Center with serious injuries, Honea said. The trooper, whose name was withheld by the Highway Patrol, has been with the agency for less than five years, Honea said.
The driver of the Mercury was not injured. He failed a field sobriety test and was booked into the Clark County Detention Center on a charge of drunken driving, Honea said. The driver’s name was not immediately released.