02/27/2008

Family: Nev. trooper will not survive

By Sandra Chereb
The Associated Press

RENO, Nev. – The family of a Nevada Highway Patrol trooper critically injured in a crash while responding to a call said she was on life support Tuesday as doctors tried to find suitable organ recipients.

Trooper Kara Kelly-Borgognone's patrol car was rammed in the driver's side door last night while she was en route to assist in a bomb scare off Pyramid Highway.

In a statement issued Tuesday afternoon, the family said she would not survive. As an organ donor, doctors were conducting organ donor suitability testing.

“This testing could take as long as two days as doctors try to find compatible matches,” the statement said.

The accident happened about 10 p.m. Monday at Pyramid Highway and Highland Ranch Parkway.

The Washoe County sheriff's office, which is handling the investigation, identified the other driver as Matthew Henderson, 33, of Sun Valley. He suffered only minor injuries.

Authorities said his Chevrolet Trailblazer crashed into the driver's side door of Kelly-Borgognone's Ford Crown Victoria cruiser.

No charges are pending as the investigation continues.

“This was a large scene and it will take some time to develop a clear picture of exactly what happened,” said sheriff's Sgt. Mike Gross.

“Witness statements were collected and need to be corroborated, we need to examine vehicles, establish speeds,” Gross said in a written statement.

“There are many questions that we just can't answer yet.”

Investigators said it's unknown if alcohol was a factor but added that no charges were being pursued.

Kelly-Borgognone has been a trooper for two years, serving eight years before that as a parole and probation officer, Allen said. She and her husband Dirk, have two young daughters, ages 3 and 13.

Her brother, Chris Kelly, is a 14-year veteran with the NHP and is assigned to the Reno area, Allen said.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Brooke Keast said the trooper was traveling with lights and sirens en route to the scene. The accident happened at an intersection controlled by a traffic light.

“We don't know if this person didn't see her,if she didn't see him,” Keast said.

“There was at least one witness,” she said. “We don't know who had the green light.”

The bomb scare involved a plastic cooler left in the parking lot of a Terrible's gas station in Sparks, the Washoe sheriff's office said.

The bomb squad was called to the scene, and other law enforcement agencies, including Kelly-Borgognone, responded to set up a safety perimeter, authorities said.

Bomb experts used a small explosive charge to open the cooler, which contained cement core samples.

Two years ago, while working as a probation officer, Kelly-Borgognone shot and killed a parolee after he tested positive for methamphetamine and tried to take her gun away.

Christopher Michael Tallman, 25, was on probation following a conviction for being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm. He also had a prior meth conviction in Oregon.

Reno police said Tallman got into a fight with Kelly-Borgognone and fellow parole officer John Gresock after they went to arrest him on Feb. 8, 2006 for violating terms of his release by testing positive for drugs.

Tallman managed to get Kelly-Borgognone's gun out of her holster but she wrestled it back and shot Tallman in the head and chest.

He died after being taken by ambulance to a hospital.

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