Three people have been confirmed killed and at least three more injured in a crash involving eight vehicles about 10 miles south of Gillette on WY 59 this morning at about 7:30 AM.
The accident occurred near mile marker 99 in a construction zone where traffic was stopped on both sides of road repair project and a pilot car was leading groups of northbound and southbound traffic through the work zone. According to Lieutenant Will Zilka of the Wyoming Highway Patrol, a number of north bound vehicles were stopped at the construction zone waiting their turn to be escorted through the work area. The area of the work zone was properly marked with signs, speed reductions, and flaggers.
For reasons not yet determined, a Powder River Transport bus also north bound collided with the line of stopped vehicles at a high rate of speed.
The collision killed one person in one of the stopped vehicles and two people in another of the stopped vehicles. None of the two dozen people on the bus sustained serious injuries. At least three people from other stopped vehicles were transported to the hospital as well and the extent of their injuries is unknown at this time.
Names of the injured and deceased have not been released and won’t be until next of kin have been notified. Charges have not yet been filed and likely will not be until the investigation is completed, which may take several days.
While it is difficult for most to fathom this kind of crash where a driver collides with stopped vehicles on an open roadway with no foul weather and clear visibility occurs all too frequently.
As we enter into the road construction season all drivers are encouraged to pay attention to work zone signs and signals and to slow down, stay off the phone, and buckle up.