Truckee resident among 2 dead in bizarre road rage incident on I-80

RENO, Nev. — Authorities are investigating a bizarre road rage incident that left two California men dead after they were struck by vehicles on Interstate 80 just west of Reno near the California-Nevada line.

The Nevada Highway Patrol identified the victims Tuesday as 37-year-old Jaime Ramirez of Woodland and 30-year-old Jarred Johnson of Truckee.

Investigators say both were headed west on I-80 when the incident began about 10 p.m. Thursday west of Reno.

Ramirez was driving a white 2015 Mercedes-Benz sedan that rear-ended Johnson’s black 2004 GMC Sierra pickup, which struck the guardrail near Gold Ranch Road in Verdi.

A physical altercation ensued before Ramirez got into Johnson’s pickup and took off eastbound in the westbound travel lanes. The front of the pickup struck Johnson, who later was declared dead at the scene.

The patrol says Ramirez then exited the pickup and attempted to carjack several other vehicles before he jumped over the guardrail along the interstate median.

He proceeded down the embankment and entered the number one travel lane of eastbound I-80 where he was hit by a silver 2003 Dodge Ram pickup. He too was declared dead at the scene.

The name of the third driver has not been released. The incident remains under investigation.

California reveals data used to lift stay-at-home order

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California lifted regional stay-at-home orders across the state Monday in response to improving coronavirus conditions, returning the state to a system of county-by-county restrictions, state health officials announced.

The order had been in place in the San Francisco Bay Area, San Joaquin Valley and Southern California, covering the majority of the state’s counties. The change will allow businesses such as restaurants to resume outdoor operations in many areas, though local officials could choose to continue stricter rules. The state is also lifting a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew.

“Together, we changed our activities knowing our short-term sacrifices would lead to longer-term gains. COVID-19 is still here and still deadly, so our work is not over, but it’s important to recognize our collective actions saved lives and we are turning a critical corner,” Dr. Tomas Aragon, the state’s public health director, said in a statement.

Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to address the public later Monday.

The decision comes with improving trends in the rate of infections, hospitalizations and intensive care unit capacity as well as vaccinations.

Newsom imposed the stay-at-home order in December as coronavirus cases worsened. Under the system, a multi-county region had to shut down most businesses and order people to stay home if ICU capacity dropped below 15%. An 11-county Northern California region was never under the order. The Greater Sacramento Region exited the order last week. The state makes the decisions based on four-week projections showing ICU capacity improving, but officials have not disclosed the data behind the forecasts.

During the weekend, San Francisco Bay Area ICU capacity surged to 23% while the San Joaquin Valley increased to 1.3%, its first time above zero. The huge Southern California region, the most populous, remains at zero ICU capacity.

Early last year, the state developed a system of color-coded tiers that dictated the level of restrictions on businesses and individuals based on virus conditions in each of California’s 58 counties. Most counties will now go back to the most restrictive purple tier, which allows for outdoor dining, hair and nail salons to be open, and outdoor church services. Bars that only serve beverages cannot be open.

The county-by-county tier system uses various metrics to determine the risk of community transmission and apply a color code — purple, red, orange or yellow — which correspond to widespread, substantial, moderate and minimal, respectively.

As of the weekend, California has had more than 3.1 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and 36,790 deaths, according to the state’s public health website.