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Coroner ID's driver killed in U.S. 95 wrong-way crash

Reported by: Michelle Velez

Reported by: Tom Hawley
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Updated: 5/17/2012 9:36 pm
LAS VEGAS (AP) — The wrong way driver, identified as twenty year old Mario Valencia from North Las Vegas, was driving a green 1996 Ford Explorer which caused two separate collisions at US-95 and Flamingo Road.

The Clark County coroner has identified the 58-year-old driver who died after his car was struck by a motorist going the wrong way on U.S. 95 as Ramiro Meza of North Las Vegas.

Valencia was pronounced dead at the scene. Authorities say Meza died from injuries sustained after his the early morning collision on the Las Vegas freeway.

Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Jeremie Elliott says the driver died at a hospital following the fiery crash just before 5 a.m. Thursday on U.S. Route 95.

Officials say they received several emergency calls about a Ford Explorer traveling northbound in the southbound lanes. Minutes later, that driver slammed head-on into a Toyota 4-Runner near Flamingo Road and died on scene.

Troopers say U.S. 95 reopened about 9 a.m. after being closed for more than four hours for the investigation.

No serious injuries were reported in a chain-reaction crash on the opposite freeway lanes that officials say happened when a motorist stopped to move crash debris.

Traffic on U.S. Route 95 in Las Vegas was snarled until  in both directions as crews worked to extract the body of the wrong-way driver who died at the scene of the fiery head-on crash.

Elliott says the vehicle was first reported on the highway at the Russell Road, and made it past Flamingo before slamming into a Toyota just before 5 a.m. Both of the vehicles burst into flames.

The male driver of the Explorer died at the scene, while the driver of the Toyota was taken to UMC with serious injuries from which he later died, though they were initially reported as not life-threatening.

©2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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