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Tractor-Trailer overturned on Nevada Highway 318

July 24, 2014

On 7/24/14 at app 1839 hrs UTC, Maritime Mobile Service Network Net Control Station Ken Porter, AC0ML, received a distress call on 14.300 MHz from fellow amateur radio operator George Molnar, KF2T.  Mr. Molnar was in land mobile operation.  KF2T had declared an emergency with the Net Control Station and advised that he witnessed a tractor-trailer truck overturn on Nevada Highway 318, approximately 26 miles south of US 93.  The location was in a deep canyon with no cellular telephone service available or any VHF/UHF repeaters in the area.

At approximately 1844 hrs UTC, AC0ML placed the Maritime Net in emergency status and obtained further information from the KF2T regarding the exact location and injury status.  AC0ML notified the Las Vegas Police Department and while the dispatcher was on landline with him, he relayed needed information which the dispatcher required to dispatch emergency vehicles.

At approximately 1853 hrs UTC, troopers from the Nevada State Highway Patrol were dispatched to the scene.  Thankfully there were no injuries but the driver of the truck was completely startled and somewhat in shock as to what had happened.  All lanes of Highway 318 were completely blocked with perishable items from the vehicle scattered about the roadway.

The Maritime Mobile Service Network is known for it’s service to maritime vessels in dealing with routine traffic and maritime emergencies. When interviewed, AC0ML advised he was “quite surprised to be receiving a land based emergency but understood why it would happen” The Maritime Mobile Service Network operates between the hours of 1600 to 0200 UTC daily and the amateur public is aware that they will most likely find assistance on that frequency.  As George Molnar, KF2T states “we were out in the middle of nowhere, where no cell carrier covered (I had three cell devices with me!), no OnStar, not even any highway department radio coverage.  Truckers, CBs didn’t reach anyone outside the canyon.  Only ham radio worked!”

What has been said many times is certainly pertinent in this case, “When all else fails, there is amateur radio”!

Report submitted by Jeff Savasta - KB4JKL
2nd Assistant Net Manager
Maritime Mobile Service Network

Photo courtesy of George Molnar, KF2T

Photo courtesy of George Molnar, KF2T