Woman in Stagecoach fatal accident also had DUI in 2002

A Stagecoach woman arrested on suspicion of drunken driving in a fatal accident Saturday, has a prior DUI conviction, court records indicate.

Lyon County records reveal Mary Ellen Walker, 53, was arrested in October 2002 for driving under the influence of alcohol. A month later she pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 30 days in jail. The judge suspended all but two days on the condition that Walker paid a $500 fine, $175 in court fees, $200 as reimbursement for the public defender, attended a DUI workshop and a victim impact panel within 90 days and attended Alcoholic Anonymous meetings twice weekly for a year.

By July of 2002, Walker had paid her fines and completed all the conditions. In November 2003 the case was closed.

On Tuesday, Walker remained in the Lyon County Jail on suspicion of DUI causing death in the killing of Linda Humes, 57, of Fernley.

According to the Nevada Highway Patrol, Walker was attempting to cross Apache Drive at Highway 50 East in Stagecoach when she failed to yield to a eastbound Ford Explorer driven by Alan Pusatero, 58, of Fernley at 11:57 p.m.

The right front of Walker's vehicle struck the left front of Pusatero's, causing it to spin counterclockwise before it overturned several times, ejecting Humes. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Fonda Pusatro, 57; Phillip Cattaneo, 54; and Loretta Cattaneo were also passengers in the Ford Explorer. They, along with Alan Pusatero, were taken to Washoe Medical Center by helicopter or ambulance.

According to Alexia Bratiotis, spokeswoman for Washoe Medical Center, the Cattaneos were treated and released. Tuesday, Fonda Pusatero was listed in fair condition and Alan Pusatero was listed in serious condition.

A criminal complaint has yet to be filed against Walker. District Attorney Leon Aberasturi said other charges could be pending once he reviews the case.

Walker is being held on $100,000 bail.

• Contact reporter F.T. Norton at ftnorton@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1213.


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