January 25, 2023 |
A fatal crash on Interstate 80 has claimed the lives of five people.
Just before 7 p.m., on January 22nd, Wyoming Highway Patrol troopers received calls of a driver going the wrong way on I-80. WHP’s head of public relations, Sergeant Jeremy Beck described the incident.
Pictured above: Image courtesy of WHP.
Available information indicates the wrong-way driver was behind the wheel of a Dodge Ram 3500. Sergeant Beck said the Dodge hit two other vehicles and caused a tractor trailer to veer into oncoming traffic.
According to KATV out of Little Rock, Arkansas, the five occupants of the Ford F-150 were young people heading home to Arkansas after visiting a bible college in Jackson Hole. Two of the victims were students of the Pulaski County Special School District, with the other three being former students. WHP trooper, Sergeant Beck was unable to officially confirm that information, but said it appeared correct.
Cowboy State Daily lists the victims as Sylvan High School seniors, Suzy Prime and Ava Luplow. Former Sylvan students, Salomon Correa, Magdalene “Maggie” Franco, and Andrea Prime were also killed in the crash. Suzy, 18, and Andrea Prime, 23, were sisters.
The wrong-way driver was arrested on suspicion of driving while impaired. Sergeant Beck said more charges are likely.
The condition of the driver of the semi-truck that hit the Ford F-150 is unknown at this time. Sergeant Beck was able to confirm the driver did suffer life-threatening injuries.
Six minutes elapsed between the time Wyoming Highway Patrol were first informed about the wrong-way driver and the crash. Sergeant Beck said it is unclear how long the driver of the Dodge Ram was traveling the wrong way before the deadly collision.
As of the reporting of this story, the victims mark the 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th Wyoming highway deaths of 2023. The death toll for January is equal to the number fatalities as the previous three years combined, by this time. Sergeant Beck said this incident is a reminder to drive carefully.
When asked why this year has been particularly deadly, Sergeant Beck said he couldn’t pinpoint one specific cause. He said this type of tragedy is especially dangerous and difficult to predict.
Cowboy State Daily is reporting the Dodge driver’s name as Arthur A. Nelson, a 57-year-old man from Limestone, Tennessee. Carbon County Circuit Court Deputy Clerk Annette Green said she is waiting for charging documents to be filed against the suspect.