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Coroner: Driver in wrong-way crash positive for THC, almost twice legal alcohol limit

Wrong-way crash on Dec. 3, I-15 near Charleston
Posted at 5:38 AM, Dec 03, 2019
and last updated 2020-01-07 03:02:42-05

JAN. 6 UPDATE: 39-year-old Frank Magliarditi of Henderson, who authorities say was a driver in a wrong-way crash on Interstate 15 near Charleston Boulevard on Dec. 3, had a blood-alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.143% and was positive for THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) at the time of his death, the Clark County Coroner says.

In Nevada, the legal limit for a non-commercial driver is a BAC of .08%, meaning Magliarditi was almost twice the legal limit for alcohol consumption.

For marijuana, a driver is considered under the influence in Nevada if their blood contains 2 nanograms of active THC. The coroner's office did not specify how much THC was found in Magliarditi's case.

Currently Nevada law does not differentiate penalties for marijuana-impaired driving from alcohol-impaired driving.


DEC. 5 UPDATE: The Clark County Coroner's Office has identified 39-year-old Frank John Magliarditi of Henderson as the man who died in a wrong-way crash on Interstate 15 near Charleston Boulevard on Dec. 3.

The coroner's office says Magliarditi died of blunt force trauma and the death as been ruled an accident.

RELATED: Wrong way drivers plague Las Vegas, authorities give ominous nighttime warning

1:30 P.M. DEC. 3 UPDATE: The Nevada Highway Patrol said troopers have opened northbound Interstate 15 after their on-scene fatal crash investigation.

The Nevada Department of Transportation say that Wells Cargo will repair the damaged asphalt between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. Dec. 3 and 4. The interstate will be reduced to 2 lanes during the repairs. Wells Cargo will be removing and replacing 500 of damaged asphalt across all 7 travel lanes. The work is a temporary patch until temperatures climb in the spring and they can replace the damaged section permanently.

According to the Transportation Research Board, there are an average or 360 deaths nationwide every year due to wrong-way driver crashes. Between Jan. 1, 2005, and Jan. 1, 2015, there were 409 wrong-way crashes in Nevada resulting in 75 deaths.

Here are some wrong-way driving tips:

  • Buckle up.
  • Never drive while impaired or extremely sleepy. Do not allow those you know to drive impaired or sleepy.
  • Drive attentively. Continually scan the road ahead so you have time to react to upcoming conditions.
  • Do not tailgate. Leave enough space so you have time to react if the vehicle in front of you changes lanes suddenly to avoid a wrong-way driver.
  • Stay right at night. The largest number of wrong-way crashes occur at night. Be aware that wrong-way drivers frequently travel in the left, or fast, lane.
  • Because they are driving in the wrong direction, they believe they are actually traveling in the slow lane in an effort to avoid being stopped for speeding.
  • If you encounter a wrong-way driver coming toward you, ease your foot off the gas to slow down. After looking to avoid other vehicles next to and behind you, steer away from the wrong-way driver. Dial 911 or *NHP to report the driver once safely off the road and away from the path of the wrong-way vehicle.
  • If there is opportunity to do so, flashing your vehicle lights or honking your car horn could alert the wrong-way driver to stop and safely reroute.

11 A.M. DEC. 3 UPDATE: Nevada Highway Patrol says that the interstate is expected to reopen around 2 p.m. The fatal crash left holes in the road that must be fixed before the lanes can be reopen. NHP also said the driver who was killed was a male adult. No other information about the driver has been released.

Nevada Highway Patrol says a wrong-way driver was killed around 3:30 a.m. Tuesday in the northbound lanes of Interstate 15 near Charleston Boulevard.

Traffic is currently being diverted to Sahara Avenue. NHP says that the wrong-way driver hit a semi truck belonging to Amazon head on between Sahara and Charleston.

The crash resulted in the truck hitting another semi-truck in the next lane, said NHP Trooper Travis Smaka.

The driver of the Amazon truck was transported to University Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries. Two people in the other semi were not seriously injured and remained at the scene.

The northbound lanes are expected to be closed for several hours because of a large debris field and fuel spill.

Unfortunately, wrong-way crashes are not uncommon in the valley, especially during the overnight hours. Another wrong-way driver was killed earlier this month on I-15. That person was believed to be impaired.

At this time, it is not known if this morning's wrong-way driver was impaired. The Clark County coroner will provide name and age after relatives have been notified.