Highway Fatalities More Than Double in Wyoming This Year

A 45-year-old Lusk woman and 35-year-old Casper man succumbed to injuries suffered in a one-vehicle accident near Wheatland last week.

ROCK SPRINGS — In what’s becoming a disturbing trend on Wyoming highways in 2019, two more fatalities have been reported by the Wyoming Highway Patrol this afternoon.

This time the accident occurred near Thermopolis at 1:10 a.m. today.

According to the report from the WHP, the fatal crash occurred at milepost 128 on US 20 when troopers were dispatched to the area for a one-vehicle rollover.

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A 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt was traveling southbound on the two-lane highway when the vehicle failed to negotiate a curve to the left and went off the right side of the roadway.

The Chevrolet crossed through a guardrail and down a steep embankment before coming to a rest on the railroad tracks below.

The driver of the Chevrolet has been identified as 17-year-old Thermopolis, Wyoming
resident Kable Schroeder. Schroeder was wearing his seatbelt and transported to the
Hot Springs Memorial Hospital where he succumbed to injuries sustained in the crash.

The passenger in the vehicle has been identified as 17-year-old Thermopolis, Wyoming resident Rylee Douglas. Douglas was not wearing his seatbelt and succumbed to injuries sustained at the scene of the crash.

Why the Increase?

Many factors are contributing to the spike in fatalities this year, said WHP Public Information Office Jeremy Beck.

“It really been a mixture of different reasons for all of these accidents,” Beck said. “We’ve had more snow this year, but we’ve also seen an increase in people driving without seat belts or passengers not wearing seat belts, intoxication, and driver fatique as well.”

Beck said the WHP has seen an unusual number of wrecks that resulted in multiple fatalities too. He offers a few tips before you plan to travel this year.

“Take your time and always exercise caution on the roads. Always wear your seat belt even if your traveling short distances,” he said. “And its not a bad idea to delay your travel plans when you know the weather and road conditions might change.”

It seems like common sense, but Beck says he’s surprised by the number of travelers who don’t check the weather forecasts before hitting the road.

Speed is being investigated as a contributing factor in the fatalities that occurred this morning. This is the 32nd and 33rd fatality on Wyoming’s roadways in 2019, compared to 16 in 2018, 19 in 2017, and 10 in 2016 to date.