RENO (CBS/AP) — Tire failure may be to blame for a firetruck rollover crash that killed two federal firefighters and injured a third on a remote highway about 37 miles north of Winnemucca, the Nevada Highway Patrol said Monday.
The driver, Jacob Omalley, 27, and a passenger, Will Hawkins, 22, both of Winnemucca, were killed in the wreck about 5:20 p.m. Sunday on State Highway 140, about 6 miles from the junction with U.S. Highway 95, Trooper Jim Stewart said.
The other passenger, 23-year-old Zachery McElroy of Reno, was being treated Monday at Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno for non-life threatening injuries, he said.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management crew members were returning to Winnemucca from fire-spotting patrol following weekend lightning strikes near the Oregon state line town of Denio, BLM spokesman Stephen Clutter said.
The highway patrol and local agencies escorted the bodies of the two dead firefighters during the 165-mile trip on Interstate 80 from Winnemucca to Reno, Clutter and Stewart said.
Stewart said the preliminary investigation indicates the truck overturned due to tire failure.
A BLM statement mourns the deaths and injury and says thoughts and prayers are with the firefighters’ families.