Reno Men Receive Citizen's Medal of Honor Posthumously
Brian Morris and Manuel Torres are real life heroes who gave their lives trying to save others.
Two men were honored for their courage on Tuesday, after sacrificing their lives in an attempt to save others.
On November 10th, Brian Morris and Manuel Torres stopped to help people involved in a car crash on Mt. Rose Highway.
During their efforts, a second crash happened and they were hit and killed by a separate car.
"As every good citizen should, both of these gentleman stopped, rendered aid to people in need, and unfortunately paid the ultimate sacrifice for that," says Rob Stepien, Deputy Chief with the Nevada Highway Patrol.
"This is an example of human selflessness and caring and love that needs to be memorialized and remembered in the community," says Chief Charlie Moore with the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District.
On Tuesday, with the help from NHP and TMFPD, the wives, children and families of Brian and Manuel were presented with the Meritorious Service Award and Citizen's Medal of Honor. It's the highest honors that can be given to a person who displays service over self.
"Nothing can bring them back, regardless of this medal or this award, it's just a way to show respect for the family," says Stepien.
"It's pretty evident from the tears at the podium, that the extreme amount of pain and loss, I can't even express it, I don't even have words," says Moore.
But there are no need for words, because the memories of these two men will live on with their families forever.
Manuel, who inspired everyone around him, will always be remembered as the man who put others first.
Brian, a skilled geologist, will live on as a mentor, husband, friend and father who always displayed a passion for his work.
"His friends would say, if there was gold in the ground, he'd be the one to find it," says Moore. "They were outstanding human beings and selfless individuals and it's appropriate that we honor their lives and what they did on that fateful day."
NHP says in light of this tragic event, if you ever see flashing red lights or signs of a crash, please slow down and move over to a further lane. This will help drivers avoid first responders and citizens who could be on the road assisting in a crash.
UPDATE: The Nevada Highway Patrol (NHP) has released new information on the fatal crash that happened on Mt. Rose Highway on Saturday night.
They said it happened at Thomas Creek road around 10 p.m.
A preliminary investigation showed a silver 2001 Toyota Tacoma pickup was traveling eastbound on Mt. Rose Highway in the left-hand westbound lane. A green and tan 1995 Mercury Grand Marquis sedan was traveling westbound on Mt. Rose Highway in the westbound left-hand travel lane.
The left front of the Toyota Tacoma struck the left front of the Mercury Grand Marquis and both vehicles stopped in the center turn lane and the westbound travel lanes. The driver of the Mercury Grand Marquis, 67-year-old Craig Park of Reno, sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Two good Samaritans, both traveling in separate vehicles, arrived in the scene moments later and stopped to help. As the good Samaritans were on the driver side of the Toyota Tacoma, a white 2002 GMC Yukon SUV was traveling westbound on Mt. Rose Highway observed the crash and steered to the left, striking the right side of the Toyota Tacoma within several minutes of the crash. The two good Samaritans, 43-year-old Rodolfo Torres of Reno and 57-year-old Bryan Morris of Reno were both struck by the Toyota Tacoma. Torres sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene. Morris was transported to the hospital were he succumbed to his injuries.
The driver of the Toyota Tacoma sustained serious injuries and was transported to the hospital.
NHP says impairment is suspected in the crash. The investigation is ongoing.
Anyone with any information on the crash is urged to contact Trooper Max Davis of the NHP Multi-Disciplinary Investigation and Reconstruction Team (MIRT) at (775) 687-9618.
(The Nevada Highway Patrol contributed to this report).
Original Story: The Washoe County Regional Medical Examiner's Office has identified the three men who died after two back-to-back crashes involving multiple cars on Mount Rose Highway at Thomas Creek Road Saturday night.
The ME's Office says 43-year-old Rodolfo Torres and 67-year-old Craig Park, both of Reno, died on scene.
The ME's Office says 57-year-old Brian Morris of Reno died after the crash at Renown Regional Medical Center.
The cause of death for all three men is pending investigation.
Officials responded around 10 p.m. to the first crash, and again to a second crash at 10:20 p.m. All lanes of Mount Rose Highway were shut down until about 4:30 a.m. Sunday. The NHP Fatal Investigation Team is investigating the crash that involved three vehicles.
No other information was immediately released.