On July 29, 2022, at approximately 1728 hours, Nathanial Smotrys, 18, from Garden Grove, CA, was driving a 2005 GMC Sierra, northbound SR-89, south of Sierraville. Smotrys had one passenger inside his vehicle. Stephen Reikes, 54, from Livermore, CA was driving a 2005 Chevrolet Silverado, southbound SR-89, south of Sierraville. There were two passengers with Reikes in his vehicle.
While driving, Smotrys fell asleep and drove into the southbound lane. Reikes came around a blind curve and observed the other vehicle completely in his lane. Reikes swerved into the northbound lane in an attempt to avoid the collision. Smotrys woke up and realized his mistake. Smotrys then swerved back into the northbound lane and both vehicle’s collided head on. Both vehicles rolled to the low side of the road and came to rest against a rock wall on the east side of SR-89. Multiple good Samaritans and off-duty law enforcement/medical personnel assisted the parties until Sierraville Fire arrived on scene. USFS and Truckee Fire also responded to the scene and assisted with the injured parties. 5 of the 6 parties involved in the collision were transported to Renown Medical Center via multiple helicopters for serious injuries.
Both directions of the SR-89 were closed for approximately 1 hours to facilitate the on-scene collision investigation.
If any member of the public has information regarding this incident, they are encouraged to contact the California Highway Patrol at (530) 252-1900.