Driver inattention fueled four separate crashes in SW Wyoming over the weekend.
A rash of accidents took place over the weekend in southwest Wyoming. On Friday, October 13 at 3:25 p.m. at the intersection of U.S. 89 and U.S. 30 an SUV and a pickup were involved in a crash.
According to the Wyoming Highway Patrol (WHP), the driver of the SUV was stopped at the stop sign and making several checks to determine a clear road. The approaching pickup was gray in color and the day was overcast making it more difficult to see. The driver of the SUV pulled out and saw the pickup and accelerated trying to get through. The driver of the pickup also swerved to try and miss the SUV but they collided with the SUV spinning and coming to a stop and blocking the northbound lanes at Sage Junction.
The driver of the pickup reported a minor head injury. The driver of the SUV suffered a broken rib and reported serious shoulder pain but was talkative. According to the WHP, a life-flight was called in for the driver of the SUV and was on site but did not transport the individual who was taken by ground transportation to Kemmerer.
A screen-time diagnosis was performed at the scene where a doctor determined the driver did not need to be flown at that time.
It was the second of two accidents on Friday which also included a semi-truck and trailer full of cows tipping over just outside of Diamondville. SVI is still gathering information on this crash which took place Friday morning and resulted in the death of several bovines.
On Saturday October 14, a semi drove off the road on the Interstate near Lyman. The vehicle went into the median and the truck was then vaulted down the road. The WHP reported that the driver was trapped in his truck and had to be extricated from the vehicle. He was transported by ground ambulance to Evanston but succumbed to his injuries.
Also on Saturday October 14, an impaired driver was traveling from Kemmerer to Cokeville and started to pass by the Port of Entry on a curve. A semi driver saw the coming vehicle and swerved off the road in an attempt to avoid a collision. The driver of the pickup still hit the semi causing damage to both vehicles. The driver was cited for careless driving. The WHP credited the driver of the semi for avoiding what could have been a head-on collision.
According to Trooper Austin Bluemel, the WHP and other agencies are seeing an increase in distracted driving.
“We are seeing a big uptick in distracted driving and driver inattention,” he stated. “All four of these accidents could have resulted in fatalities this weekend. People need to understand that at 70 miles per hour, a vehicle is traveling at 104 feet per second. In at least two of these accidents, the drivers admitted to reaching for a bottle of water or something similar. Drivers need to be more mindful.”