Fatal crash on Nevada highway strands Burning Man festival attendees

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Posted at 2:52 PM, Aug 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-26 17:52:05-04

RENO, Nev. (AP) — A fatal crash shut down a rural highway leading to the Burning Man festival in Nevada's desert, snarling traffic for hours and temporarily stranding hundreds of festival-goers at Reno-Tahoe International Airport.

The victim of Sunday's crash was identified Monday as 61-year-old Lonnie Richey of Carson City.

A preliminary investigation indicates he was driving a pickup southbound on a county road near State Route 447 when he crossed the yellow lines and hit a northbound RV. Two RV occupants were treated for minor injuries.

KOLO-TV reports nearly 800 festival-goers spent Sunday night at the airport or found local motel rooms with help from local airport and tourism officials.

Most boarded buses Monday bound for the celebration 100 miles (160 kilometers) north of Reno.

Airport spokesman Brian Kulpin says about 20,000 Burners are expected to travel through the airport this week.