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Michael J. Mills

Res. Officer Michael J. Mills of the Reno Police Department


January 20, 1969


Reno auxiliary policeman Michael J. Mills was killed Sunday morning when he was struck by a car police said went out of control on the 4700 block of North Virginia Street.

Police identified the driver of the car as Donald F. Lewis, 33, of 764 Mt. Shasta St. and said he was booked on charges of driving while under the influence of intoxicants, reckless driving, and felony hit and run.

A spokesman for Lear Corporation at Stead said Lewis has been working as a design engineer for the company for about 30 days.

The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office said Mills, 24, of 1600 Lewis St., was killed instantly and another policeman, Charles Nearpass, 28, of 1511 Hillside Drive was seriously injured.

Also injured in the wreck was Arthur J. Hampton, 32, of Gridley, Calif.

Deputies said the policemen were assisting Hampton, whose car apparently developed mechanical trouble. He had pulled into the parking lot at the Safeway Store at 4740 N. Virginia St.

Police said the other car came around the corner and struck Mills, Hampton and Nearpass. The vehicle then struck Hampton’s auto and veered across Virginia Street and ran into a shed. The driver fled and Lewis was arrested two hours later at a nearby house police said.

Nearpass and Hampton were listed in serious condition at the Washoe Medical Center today.

Deputies said Miller was thrown 36 feet after he was struck by the car. The vehicle traveled 431 feet after it hit Hampton’s vehicle.

Mills was a public relations man at KBUB radio station in Reno. HE had worked at other radio stations in Reno. On the air, he used the name Ronnie Mitchell.

Mills is survived by his widow Virginia, brothers, Thomas of Los Angeles, Brad and John both of Santa Cruz, Calif.; and his mother Clara Mills of Santa Cruz.

A funeral will be held Tuesday at Walton Funeral Home. Cremation will be at the Mountain View Crematorium.