CHEYENNE — A fatal crash last Sunday west of Evanston on I-80 resulted in the 53rd and 54th fatalities on Wyoming's roadways in 2021, 2021 compared to 59 in 2020, 92 in 2019, and 56 in 2018 to date.
Another fatal crash north of Cheyenne on Tuesday raised the death toll to 55. Driver inattention is being investigated as a possible cause for a fatal crash near Cheyenne.
The fatal crash west of Evanston over the weekend is also being investigated for driver inattention and speed as possible causes. The accident near Evanston closed I-80 for several hours.
The July 18, crash occurred around milepost one on Interstate 80 west of Evanston, Wyoming, and troopers from the Wyoming Highway Patrol responded to the notification of a motor vehicle collision, which was received around 2 p.m.,
A 2002 Toyota RAV-4 and 2013 Ford F-150 were stopped in traffic due to an earlier crash blocking the roadway. The driver of a 2018 GMC Sierra failed to see the stopped traffic and collided with the Toyota, causing the Toyota to hit the back of the Ford.
The driver of the GMC has been identified as 29-year-old Greeley, Colo.; resident Braylin Wertenberger. Wertenberger was not wearing his seatbelt and was transported to the Evanston Regional Hospital for injuries sustained in the crash. The passenger has been identified as 42-year-old Brighton, Colo.; resident Mollie Wright. Wright was not wearing her seatbelt and was transported by helicopter to the University of Utah for injuries sustained in the crash. Driver inattention and speed on the part of Wertenberger are being investigated as potential contributing factors.
Two of the people in the Toyota were listed as fatalities. The driver of the Toyota has been identified as 71-year-old Wolf Point, Mont.; resident William J. Baker. Baker was wearing a seatbelt and transported by helicopter to the University of Utah, where he later succumbed to his injuries sustained in the crash. The juvenile passenger in the vehicle has been identified as Wolf Point, Mont.; resident Scobey J. Baker. Baker was wearing a seatbelt and succumbed to injuries at the scene of the crash. The remaining passenger in the vehicle has been identified as 19-year-old Wolf Point, Mont.; resident Kade Baker. He was transported to Evanston Regional Hospital for injuries sustained in the crash.
The driver of the Ford has been identified as 36-year-old Bluffdale, Utah; resident Rosario Ortiz Garcia. Ortiz Garcia was wearing a seatbelt and not injured in the crash. The passengers in the Ford have been identified as 46-year-old West Valley, Utah; resident Maria Lopez, and one juvenile passenger. They both were restrained correctly, and Lopez was transported to Evanston Regional Hospital for injuries sustained in the crash.