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Driver in head-on fatal makes court appearance

Jun 4, 2015 From staff reports

The Arizona man charged with homicide by vehicle in connection with a crash that occurred more than a year ago said he couldn't see at the time of the incident due to sun, according to court documents.

David Hoyt, 54, of Apache Junction, Ariz., was extradited last week to Fremont County on a warrant related to the fatal accident, which took place just before 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 17, 2014, on Wyoming Highway 28 about 34 miles east of Farsonon South Pass.

The two-vehicle, head-on collision resulted in the death of Gerald Haugen, 75, of Cody, at the scene. His passenger, Georgianna C. Haugen, 76, also of Cody, was hospitalized at the Wyoming Medical Center in Casper as a result of the incident. Both were wearing seatbelts.

Hoyt, the driver of the other vehicle involved, was hospitalized at SageWest Health Care at Lander after the crash. He also was wearing his seatbelt.

Affidavit

An affidavit in the case says road conditions in the area were clear at the time of the crash, and the pavement was dry. However, Hoyt reportedly said he had hit a patch of ice on the roadway. He told a Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper that his vehicle went off the right side of the road, and he overcorrected into the oncoming lane, hitting the other car.

He also said the sun was in his eyes, so he had a hard time seeing the road, according to the affidavit.

Hoyt thought he was traveling 50-60 mph at the time of the accident.

He was cited at the time for driving under suspension, failure to maintain his lane, and no proof of insurance.

He now is charged with homicide by vehicle. Officials allege he operated or drove his vehicle in a criminally negligent manner, and his conduct was the cause of Gerald Haugen's death. The misdemeanor is punishable by a fine of not more than $2,000, imprisonment in county jail for not more than 1 year, or both.

Reportedly fought extradition, but he was returned to Fremont County and arraigned Monday in Fremont County Circuit Court in Lander.

Crash

WHP reports state Hoyt was driving a 2000 Ford F350 pickup westbound for Bear Dog Trucking Inc. when his vehicle left the roadway to the right on Jan. 17. He overcorrected to the left, coming back onto the roadway and crossing the center line into the opposite lane of travel.

The Haugens were headed east in a 2013 Chrysler Town & Country van when Hoyt entered their lane of travel, and the vehicles collided head-on.

After impact, both vehicles came to rest in the eastbound borrow ditch. Georgianna Haugen was extricated from her vehicle and flown to Casper by helicopter for treatment.

The highway was closed for three hours after the crash.

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