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Three killed in Wednesday night accident in Star Valley

Three people, including a mother and daughter, lost their lives in a traffic accident that occurred on Highway 238 between Afton and Auburn Wednesday evening, May 24.

The Wyoming Highway Patrol told SVI News that the accident occurred at roughly 9:40 p.m. between mile marker 7 and 8. A southbound vehicle, driven by 28-year-old Kasandra Roger of Idaho Falls, crossed into the oncoming lane of traffic. Roger side-swiped an oncoming vehicle driven by 31-year-old Ryan Leavitt. According to WHP, the impact was strong enough to knock the two driver’s side tires off of Leavitt’s vehicle. Roger then hit head on with another vehicle that was following behind Leavitt. The third vehicle was being driven by Kirstin Mortensen, 4o, of Auburn. Kirstin’s 18-year-old son was in the front passenger seat, with her husband, Derek Mortenson, 41, and their 11-year-old daughter riding in the back.

The Wyoming Highway Patrol said that Kirstin and her 11-year-old daughter were found deceased at the scene of the crash, as was Roger. Derek was Life Flighted in critical condition and is expected to survive, while the 18-year-old son was transported to Star Valley Health with non-life threatening injuries. Leavitt was taken to Star Valley Health by private vehicle where he was treated and released.

While the accident remains under investigation, WHP said it is suspected that Roger was under the influence of alcohol which likely was the cause of the accident. Roger’s address was listed in Idaho Falls, however she had been currently living and working in Star Valley.


Kirstin Mortensen was a staff member for Lincoln County School District No. 2 and worked in both Osmond and Afton Elementary. Her 11-year-old daughter was a 5th grade student attending elementary inside the school district. LCSD No. 2 released the following statement Thursday morning.

“Lincoln County School District #2 offers our deepest sympathy to all those in our community who have been affected by the tragedy and loss of life on Highway 238 west of Afton last evening (May 24, 2023). Our Crisis Intervention Team made up of trained counselors and psychologists are providing services today at the schools affected by this tragedy.”

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