I-80 pile-up results in motorist fatality, lengthy road closure
Photo courtesy Wyoming Department of Transportation.
by Wyoming Department of Transportation
March 24, 2010
At least one person has died and several others are hospitalized resulting from a chain-reaction, multi-vehicle crash on Interstate 80 between Rawlins and Rock Springs this morning.
The crash, which involved 20 or more vehicles, occurred at approximately 9 a.m. on eastbound I-80 near the Rasmussen Road Interchange (exit 170), about three miles west of Wamsutter. Vehicles involved include numerous large trucks and passenger cars and trucks, and one motor home.
Early reports indicate the crash was triggered when a tractor-trailer truck jack-knifed and partially blocked travel lanes. A second truck then overturned while trying avoid the first truck, and in turn, subsequently collisions occurred as traffic began to slow and stop behind original crash scene.
The fatality occurred in a passenger vehicle which slid into a large truck and then was hit by another large truck. Rumors of a pedestrian or pedestrians being killed or injured were unconfirmed.
So far, it looks like at least five injured motorists have been transported to Memorial Hospital of Carbon County in Rawlins. Two of the injuries were described as serious, requiring extrication from crushed vehicles.
Both lanes of I-80 were closed after the crash was reported; eastbound because of the crash, and westbound in order for emergency vehicles to safely respond to the scene. Three hours after the initial crash, I-80 remained closed between Rock Springs and Rawlins.
In addition to the 20-plus crashed cars and trucks, another several dozen more vehicles were caught up in the situation without being damaged.
Road and weather Conditions at the time of the crash were reported as being foggy with icy pavement surface.
Numerous Highway Patrol troopers are on scene, with assistance from WYDOT maintenance workers, Carbon and Sweetwater County sheriffs deputies and Carbon County and Sweetwater fire and ambulance crews.
Photos courtesy of Wyoming Department of Transportation