Crash near Lander kills 3

Mar 15, 2017 By Kelli Ameling, Staff Writer

A Riverton man was life-flighted Tuesday night.

Two Fremont County teens died Tuesday evening in a triple-fatal collision north of Lander.

Officials said an 18-year-old Lander man and a 15-year-old Hudson girl, along with a 20-year-old Greybull man, suffered fatal injuries at the scene of the crash, which took place at about 8:15 p.m. Tuesday on Wyoming Highway 789 about two miles north of Lander.

The three had been traveling together in a 2003 Honda Pilot SUV headed north, according to reports. Officials said the 18-year-old driver failed to negotiate a left-hand curve in the highway as the vehicle drifted east.

"The SUV was overcorrected, sending the SUV into a counter-clockwise spin,"

Wyoming Highway Patrol public relations Sgt. David Wagener said.

While the vehicle was spinning, it entered the southbound lanes, colliding with a 1993 Chevrolet Silverado driven by a 42-year-old Riverton man. Fremont County Coroner Mark Stratmoen said the Riverton man was taken by air ambulance from SageWest Health Care at Lander, but neither Stratmoen nor Wagener knew about the man's condition Wednesday morning.

Excessive speeds and driver inattention are being investigated as contributing factors to the crash, but Wagener said he did not know yet how fast the vehicles were going at the time of the collision. The incident was reported as a "possible head-on" collision with multiple people involved.

WHP Lt. Lee Pence said the 18-year-old driver was the only person wearing a seat belt.


Stratmoen confirmed the fatalities Wednesday but said he would not release the names of the deceased individuals until Thursday.

"I like to wait 24 hours so next-of-kin can be notified," Stratmoen said, noting that, although immediate family has been notified, some of the deceased have family members outside of the county who have not been contacted.

Because at least one of the deceased was a student at Fremont County School District 1 in Lander, counselors and grief management was available at the school Wednesday for students who needed it.

An e-mail sent to parents and signed by Lander Valley High School assistant principal Brand Neuendorf indicated that parent-teacher conferences had been canceled "due to the recent tragedy involving our LVHS (student)."

"The conferences will not be rescheduled," the e-mail stated. "Please contact any teacher to set up a meeting at your convenience if you have any concerns with your student's performance."

Assisting WHP at the scene of Tuesday's crash were the Fremont County Sheriff's Office, Lander Police Department, Guardian EMS, Fremont County Fire Protection District and the Fremont County Coroner's Office assisted WHP at the scene of Tuesday's crash, which marked the 16th, 17th and 18th highway fatalities in Wyoming for 2017.

According to Wagener, there were 10 fatalities during this same time period in 2016.

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