An off-duty Eureka County Sheriff’s Deputy and his stepdaughter died in a head-on vehicle collision on Highway 318 the morning of Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Michael Harter, 29, lost control of his southbound Dodge pickup around 9:15 a.m. just north of mile marker 19 in Nye County. The truck crossed the center divider and collided with a northbound tractor trailer. Harter and the right rear passenger in the pickup, Haley Lynn Page, nine, of Crescent Valley died of their injuries at the scene. Page’s mother and front passenger Shelley Harter, 32, suffered critical injuries and was airlifted to University Medical Center in Las Vegas.

A Nevada Highway Patrol investigation concluded that Harter had been driving too fast for the wet and snowy conditions. The Petaluma, Calif. native served in the United States Marine Corps for five years and then as a reserve deputy with the Carson City Sheriff’s Office. He served as a resident deputy sheriff in Eureka County for four years.

“It’s a tremendous loss for our agency and the community,” Eureka County Sheriff Keith Logan said.

Sheriff Logan supervised Harter’s recruitment and hiring process, and was also present the night Michael and Shelley met, at a “Golden Oldies” community fundraising event for seniors.

“It was a lot of fun to see them together,” Logan said of the couple, adding, “Haley was a  great kid. She was a bright, shining light.”

Sheriff Logan referred to his close-knit community as the heart of Nevada.

“Our heart is broken,” he said.

Memorial and funeral arrangements are currently pending in order to allow Shelley Harter sufficient time for recovery. A memorial fundraising website has been established at officerdown.us

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