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Truckee mourns 2nd victim of Newcastle-I-80 wrong-way crash

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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Truckee-area residents who knew Interstate 80 wrong-way crash victim Jessica Faber are mourning the loss of a teen remembered for her passion for the arts and enthusiasm for life. Faber, 18, was killed Tuesday when the car she was driving collided head-on with a vehicle being driven the wrong direction on eastbound I-80 at Newcastle. The other driver – 21-year-old Christopher Dann – was also killed. The Rev. Wayne Hoag, a pastor at Truckee’s Sierra Bible Church told the Sierra Sun newspaper Thursday that Faber – who was a student at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa – was “a real sweetheart.” Faber’s family attends Hoag’s church. “She and her sister were two real neat girls,” Hoag said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with them.” The California Highway Patrol said several witnesses reported seeing Dann’s Infiniti G20 driving the wrong way, traveling west on eastbound I-80. The first report came from Auburn, about three miles from the crash site. A funeral service for Dann, a Placer High graduate who was in his junior year at California State University, Long Beach, will take place at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Auburn’s Chapel of the Hills. Dann had lived all his life in the Auburn area and had returned home for Christmas break. Faber’s family released information Thursday on its plans. A memorial service for Faber will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday at Grace Church in Reno. “She was an avid artist, had a passion for movies and music, loved the performing arts and performed in many local shows in the Reno, Tahoe and Truckee area,” Faber’s family said in a statement. “All who met her knew her generous spirit and contagious enthusiasm for life and loving her family and friends.” Faber was born Aug. 28, 1991, in Truckee. She was studying photography at college. The CHP initially said she lived in Truckee and then later indicated her primary residence was Huntington Beach. Faber’s parents, Mark and Cindy Faber, and her sister, Jeannette Faber, live in Truckee. “Jessica loved to travel and used the camera’s lens to capture the world as she saw it with amazing light,” the statement said. The family is asking that instead of flowers, donations be made to a fund set up in Jessica’s name at the Wells Fargo Bank in Truckee. A passenger in the Faber vehicle – Gregory Wessels, 23, of Southern California’s Fountain Valley – survived the crash and was hospitalized at Sacramento’s UC Davis Medical Center with serious burns and other injuries related to the collision. The California Highway Patrol investigation is focused on Dann’s drive west on the freeway. Blood alcohol and drug tests taken as part of an autopsy on the victims are expected within at least a week. The Highway Patrol’s report may be completed by the middle of next month, according to a CHP spokesman. Sierra Sun reports contributed to this story.