BEOWAWE — A crash at the west end of Emigrant Pass left a Volkswagen Beetle partially lodged under a semi truck and its driver in critical condition Tuesday, according to Nevada Highway Patrol reports.
The driver, Daniela L. Terifay of Browns Mills, N.J., was airlifted to Salt Lake City for treatment of head, face and neck injuries.
The accident began when 57-year-old Terifay came upon the truck parked on the right side of the interstate, putting on snow chains, said Terifay's daughter, who was a passenger in the vehicle and is also named Daniela Terifay.
A red four-door car in front of them in the left lane slammed on its brakes, the younger Terifay said.
"My mom started braking, but we weren't slowing down fast enough and we lost traction so she swerved into the right lane to avoid the car," the younger Terifay said.
The younger Terifay broke both her hands from the impact of the airbag and couldn't open her car door and the elder Terifay was trapped in the car and had to be extracted.
The younger Terifay said that four truckers helped her and her cat (who was traveling with them) out of the car and helped them all stay warm until medical personnel arrived.
Both were transported to Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital by ambulance before the elder Terifay was airlifted to Salt Lake City.
The elder Terifay is still in critical condition and has major trauma to the head with internal bleeding on her brain and a neck that is fractured in multiple places.
Terifay’s Volkswagen was totaled and the truck had minor damage. The third vehicle did not stop at the scene.
NHP troopers attributed the accident to Terifay’s speed and failure to maintain the lane, according to the report.
The roads were covered in ice and snow at the time.
Wednesday was the elder Terifay’s birthday.
(This story was updated Jan. 31 to reflect an interview with Terifay as well as to clarify the position of the car beneath the truck.)