Published Thursday, Feb. 26, 2009 | 8:55 a.m.
Updated Thursday, Feb. 26, 2009 | 3:32 p.m.
Like many teenagers, Donald Ross Acker-White worked several odd jobs to save money for a car. When the time came, he bought an older model Lincoln Town Car, not for himself, but for his mother who needed one to get to her job.
Nancy White said her son was thoughtful and generous and that’s how she’ll remember him. Acker-White died in the early morning on Feb. 26 when the car he was driving crashed into a house in northeast Las Vegas. He was 17. White said she doesn’t know what her son was doing out before 3 a.m. She works the graveyard shift at Circus Circus.
“He saved his money and when I needed a car a couple of years ago, he actually went out and bought me a car,” she said. “He loved his family and friends.”
Metro Police said that at about at 2:40 a.m., the 2004 Nissan Maxima Acker-White was driving ran a stop sign, lost control and crashed into the side of a home at 1823 Dartmouth Court, off Wyoming Avenue near Interstate 515.
The crash occurred less than a mile from his home.
The 22-year-old passenger, Brandon Rowley of Las Vegas, suffered critical injuries, police said.
Aracely Talavera was sound asleep with her family early Thursday morning when chaos erupted at their home.
“We thought it was some kind of explosion at first,” Talavera said. “There was a really loud noise and glass breaking everywhere.”
The back of the car slammed into the house, she said, missing her parents and her 8-year-old sister — who were asleep in the same bedroom — by only a couple feet.
“I don’t know if it flipped over or spun around,” she said.
The cause of the wreck was still being investigated, police said. Officers said the car was eastbound on Wyoming Avenue and ran a stop sign at Sandhill Road. The driver lost control of the car, which struck the south curb of Wyoming, and crashed through a chain link fence, a water main and a block wall, finally coming to rest in the rear wall of the house, police said.
Talavera’s father, Febronio Talavera, said they were showered with rocks and broken glass. His wife, Luzmila, suffered a cut to her upper lip.
The family, who have lived at the home for 15 years, immediately called 911 as neighbors rushed to the scene.
Nine hours after the crash, debris from inside the vehicle — including blankets and children’s toys — still littered Febronio Talavera’s backyard.
“It was very, very scary,” he said.
White said her son will be cremated and that a memorial service was being planned.
Acker-White was a former student at Chaparral High School. He didn't have a regular job but loved to work on his “show car,” White said. But that was not the car he was driving when the crash occurred.
“He took good care of his things,” she said. “He spent a lot of time and effort fixing up his car. He wanted to make something of himself when he got older.”
The wreck is the 11th traffic fatality in the Las Vegas area this year, police said.
Jeff O’Brien can be reached at 990-8957 or firstname.lastname@example.org.