Jessica Tabares survives wrong-way crash in February 2022
LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A woman who survived a wrong-way crash last year that killed her husband remembers a man rescuing her and saying, “You have been saved” before he disappeared.
Jessica Tabares survived the crash on the 215 Beltway near Town Center Drive on Feb. 5, 2023. Her husband, Jose Tabares, 48, died in the crash, as did the driver who collided into them.
As the 8 News Now Investigators reported, most wrong-way crashes on southern Nevada roads occur on freeways, at night and involve impaired drivers.
Quinyana Long, 39, was in the far-left lane when she hit the Tabares’ Chevrolet pickup head-on, police said. As the vehicles rotated counterclockwise, a black Nissan traveling in the middle lane hit the pickup, police said. Long and Jose Tabares died from their injuries. Three others were hurt, including Jessica Tabares. Traffic was closed for about eight hours as the crash.
Long had a blood-alcohol level nearly four times the legal limit and cocaine in her system, according to documents the 8 News Now Investigators obtained. Long also had THC in her blood.
Long was driving the wrong way for at least four minutes. It remains unclear at what off-ramp she entered the freeway. Her car became a four-wheeled bomb moving toward its unknown target.
In the minutes after the crash, as Jessica Tabares regained consciousness, she remembered a man who helped her out of her seat.
“He came to the window of my truck, and I told him, ‘Get me out of here. I need help.’ And he said, ‘OK.’ Then I blacked out,” she said. “I just remember being placed on the pavement on the freeway and him telling me, ‘You have been saved.’”
Tabares has never found that man.
Not all drivers involved in wrong-way crashes are impaired: police investigations in half of wrong-way crashes involved officers not suspecting driver impairment, the 8 News Now Investigators found. Those crashes are likely less severe because a non-impaired driver can react differently than an intoxicated one.
However, it remained unclear why the difference was so large and why intoxicated drivers in wrong-way crashes are most likely to die.