NEVADA CITY, Calif. December 9, 2016 – On March 12, 2016, Officer Taylor of Gold Run CHP Office was assisting other CHP officers on Interstate 80 near the Castle Peak undercrossing with traffic control due to several vehicle accidents in the area. The weather at the time was intermittent rain, snow and slush, the snow was beginning to stick but the highway was otherwise clear and chain restrictions were not yet required. That section of Interstate 80 is a three lane 65 mile per hour roadway. After the accidents were cleared it appears that Officer Taylor remained on scene to assist with further traffic control.
Officer Taylor was directing traffic from the number one lane into the number two and number three lanes. As people moved into two lanes the traffic slowed to approximately 35 miles per hour. A Nissan Pathfinder driven by a young woman approached the slowdown in the number two lane at approximately 50 miles per hour when a car changed lanes in front of her. As she applied the brakes it became clear that she would be unable to stop in time so she made an evasive maneuver to the left into the number 1 lane. At that point the Pathfinder lost traction and slid into the snowbank striking Officer Taylor with the front of the vehicle.
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Following the collision, citizens stopped to render first aid to the Officer and he was ultimately transported to Renown Medical Center in Reno, Nevada, where he succumbed to his injuries the following day.
On December 9, 2016, District Attorney Newell and Assistant District Attorney Alexander met with CHP command staff, the Multi-Disciplinary Accident Investigation Team, and Officer Taylor’s family. The consensus was that the incident was a horrible accident and that there was insufficient evidence of criminal negligence on the part of the driver of the vehicle that struck Officer Taylor.
The District Attorney’s Office would like to recognize that Officer Nathan Taylor, by all accounts, was an extraordinary man and officer. Our deepest condolences, thoughts and prayers go out to his family.