Local News


Friend: Nellis Airman one of two killed in crash

Posted at 1:55 PM, Jan 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-03 16:55:19-05
We've learned the name of one of two men killed in last night's fatal crash on Interstate 15 near Craig Road.
Jacob Varner was just 22 years old and an airman at Nellis Air Force, according to his friend. He died on impact after rolling over 4 lanes of traffic, his car bursting into flames.
Desiree Cruz lived with Jacob Varner, and got the chilling news Friday morning that after a night out to ring in the new year, Varner would not be returning home.
"He would buy the groceries, I would cook him dinner. He would do the laundry, I would fold it. He would feed the dog at night, I would feed the dog in the morning. We were a team, and now it's gonna be hard being in the house by myself," Cruz told Action News.
Varner was an airman at Nellis, according to Cruz, and was enjoying his last few months here in Vegas before returning to his home in Oregon to say goodbye to family before deploying to Korea for a year.
Cruz spoke with Varner's family early Friday, relaying the message his sergeant had told her. Varner was speeding, impaired, hit the median, rolled over 4 lanes of traffic, and came to a fiery stop that ended his life and the life of his passenger.
"They were very hysterical as I could imagine. So I told them, you know, I'm sorry, I'm in shock. I can't believe this happened. I literally was talking to him 15 minutes prior to the accident, so it's crazy how things can happen so fast," she said.
As she prepares for a memorial service on base next week, now Cruz is just trying to wrap her head around the haunting thought that one of her best friends and confidants is gone forever.  "It's just weird coming home and knowing he's not coming back," she said.

The Clark County coroner identified the second victim as 24-year-old Darren Tomas.