Highway North Of Rawlins Closed Due To Fatal Crash and Fire [UPDATE]
The Wyoming Highway Patrol says 2 people are dead in a near head-on collision on the main highway north of Rawlins.
UPDATE Monday, May 19th: The Wyoming Highway Patrol says a white flatbed pickup, followed by a white flatbed combination unit and a commercial vehicle, driven by 48-year old John Francks of Rock Springs, was traveling south on US Highway 287/Wyoming State Highway 789, about 28.5 miles north of Rawlins, when the pickup slowed down, and pulled off the roadway onto a county road.
The combination unit swerved around and passed the pickup, and during the process, Francks somehow locked the brakes on his vehicle, causing the truck to jack-knife perpendicular to the highway, in the northbound lane of travel.
At the time, another commercial vehicle driven by 31-year old Gary Linton of Thermopolis, was traveling north on the highway, and crashed into the jack-knife.
Both drivers were declared dead at the scene.
The Patrol says inattentive driving and following too close were contributing factors leading to the cause of the crash.
UPDATE Friday, May 16 5pm: The wreck involved 2 semi’s head-on. HazMat crews are heading to the scene. It could be quite sometime, before the road reopens.
Original Story Friday, May 16 4:30pm: At around 12:45pm on Friday, May 16th, Troopers were called to a 2 vehicle crash on US Highway 287 and Wyoming State Highway 789, about 5 miles south of Lamont, or roughly 28 miles north of Rawlins.
Upon arrival, Patrol Troopers found that at least 2 commercial vehicles were involved, with one on fire. A large quantity of hot oil was spilled from one of the vehicles, onto the highway, and cleanup is extremely difficult.
The highway is closed as troopers continue to investigate and clean up the mess. Travelers are advised to avoid the area and find alternate routes.