UPDATE – 5:00 a.m. The alleged driver of the wrong-way vehicle has been charged.
Norberto Ramses Godinez, 35 of Rock Springs was arrested by the Wyoming Highway Patrol for alleged DUI, drivers license -more than one, no liabilty insurance, driving on right side of road and expired or improper registration.
SWEETWATER COUNTY — A horrific head-on wreck this morning could have resulted in three deaths if not for the quick actions of a truck driver from Missouri.
At approx 4:10 am WHP was notified that a vehicle was travelling the wrong way on I-80. According to information they recieved the vehicle got on the interstate at the East Green River exit 91 and was travelling the wrong way (westbound in the eastbound lane) went through the tunnels and traveled another mile and a half before getting into a crash with an eastbound tractor trailer combination driven by Michael Allen of Missouri.
Authorities say Allen saw the vehicle coming the wrong way and attempted to avoid the collision by moving from the right lane across the left lane and onto the shoulder while slowing heavily. Allen reduced his speed to around 25-30 mph but the wrong way driver came all the way across the whole road and struck his vehicle.
At first Allen reportedly believed that the driver of the other vehicle may have been attempting to commit suicide.
The wrong way driver is a local named Norberto Godinez, he also had a passenger Jeanette Cantillo. The 2015 Ford Escape passenger car they were riding in sustained extreme damage in the wreck with both air bags deploying. The semi sustained heavy damage to the point were the 2015 Ford Escape actually moved the semi’s axle. The passenger Cantillo was belted in but the driver was not.
They were both transported to the hospital with multiple injuries including broken bones. The semi driver was ok with no injuries.
The passenger reported that she and Godinez had been drinking heavily at local bars before deciding to head to Green River for an after party. Alcohol is suspected to be the leading factor in the wreck. The driver was given multiple citations.
According to the WHP is the driver of the semi had not taken measures to slow down the accident would have almost certainly been a double fatality.
The wreck temporally closed the interstate, GRPD and the SWCSO personnel provided assistance in traffic control which was reported to be a huge benefit to troopers Lopez and Kannier who were working the wreck.
The investigation is ongoing.