Around 3:39 p.m. on Sunday, March 1, 2020, Wyoming Highway Patrol was notified of two crashes involving multiple vehicles on Interstate 80, one eastbound near milepost 181 and the other on the westbound side at 184.
There were 30 vehicles involved in the multiple crashes on the westbound side of the Interstate, and three people were killed.
The Golden Rule of Safe Driving would have prevented this! (Below)
One of the fatalities was a passenger in a Toyota Highlander which was struck by a commercial motor vehicle. This person has been identified as 53-year-old Deborah Carrel, from Marshall, Michigan.
The two other people killed were both drivers of commercial motor vehicles. They were subsequently identified as 64-year-old Emman Ojiaka, from Denton, Texas, and 27-year-old Kian Kennedy, from Hampton, Georgia.
On March 5, Linda Flores shared video footage on YouTube that she had taken of the westbound pileup as it happened.
Ms. Flores wrote: “My nephews and I were on our way to Denver from Utah. All through WY, I could not drive faster than 40mph. The signs [throughout] Interstate 80 advised us of icy roads, low visibility, high winds, bad weather conditions! As we approached the incident we did not notice anything was wrong with the [westbound] lane because I was focused on the road ahead of me, until I noticed [a] large white van fly [off] the westbound road on its side! I yelled at the kids: “Did you see that’. And there was a man in an orange jacket flagging the eastbound lane. And the semi in front of us pulled over. I assumed that the eastbound was also in a pileup and pulled over. We tried calling 911 but we just didn’t know where we were on the interstate. Officers began to arrive moments later! Sorry about me screaming [on the video]. The thing is, I don’t see trucks or cars I see people and ya, sorry again!”
The first thing to be said is that if everyone had been driving with the care and the thoughtfulness about other people that Linda Flores describes, things would have ended up far better than they did!
The video clearly shows the bad weather and poor visibility at the time of the collisions, and also shows that beyond any doubt whatsoever several of the drivers were driving far too fast for the conditions and were responsible for the crashes.
According to Wyoming Highway Patrol, driving too fast for road conditions and following too closely are being investigated as the leading cause of the crashes.
Applying the Golden Rule of Safe Driving, together with the use of safe following distances for potentially icy roads, would have prevented every single on of the collisions which created these multi-vehicle pile ups. As it was, each individual crash was an act of negligence and/or incapable driving.
- Wyoming Highway Patrol
- CDL Life
- Linda Flores (at YouTube)