Natrona County has the unfortunate distinction of being the location of Wyoming's first fatal crash investigated by the Wyoming Highway Patrol in the new year. Patrol Sgt. Steven Townsend says it happened on U.S. 20/26, the old Glenrock Highway, about 4 miles east of Casper early Monday morning.

"It involved a passenger vehicle and a tractor trailer tanker. For reasons unknown at this time, the passenger vehicle crossed the center line and hit the tanker head on."

The Chrysler 3500 was driven by 24-yr-old Glenn D. Dale of Evansville who died at the scene.

"After impact both vehicles went off the road and the tanker rolled one quarter time on to its driver side and spilled crude oil into the right of way."

Its unknown why Dale swerved into the oncoming lane. 56 year old Larry Hammond, of Mills,was driving the crude oil tanker. The resultant spill of some 3000 gallons of oil caused the lengthy closure of the road from Hat Six to Glenrock.

"It was closed approximately 11 hours while troopers investigated the scene and the crude oil was cleaned up."

Townsend says there was never a danger of fire or explosion, but cleanup was difficult.  A toxicology report has yet to be completed and will be part of the continuing investigation.