Court papers detail moments before car entered river - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Court papers detail moments before car entered river

Bryson Chance Wayne Manthei (courtesy of the Mills Police Department via the Natrona County Sheriff’s Office) (Scene photo by Trevor T. Trujillo, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. —  Paperwork filed against a Natrona County man who is facing charges including Driving While Under the Influence, detail the events that led to the suspect crashing their car into the North Platte River.

During his initial appearance on Wednesday, suspect Bryson Manthei was officially charged with Driving While Under the Influence, Failure to Provide Insurance, and two counts of Possession of a Controlled Substance. All of the charges were described as misdemeanors.

According to an affidavit filed in Natrona County Circuit Court, the Mills Police Department was dispatched to an area near Johnson Avenue and Southwest Wyoming Boulevard, in Mills, for a single vehicle crash, at approximately 2:35, August 27, 2019.

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A witness had previously dialed 911, and told dispatchers that a green Ford Taurus had almost hit their vehicle, near the 4500 block of West Yellowstone Highway in Mills. The witness alleges that the Taurus ran a stop sign and went around the reporting party’s vehicle, and began driving down the sidewalk, adjacent to West Yellowstone.

The witness followed the Taurus in their own vehicle and reportedly witnessed the vehicle hit the curb and travel over an embankment, into the Platte River.

Another witness on scene, identified as a Natrona County employee, reportedly stopped to assist before law enforcement arrived. The county employee said that they observed Manthei attempting to walk off, and was telling emergency responders that he was “trying to get away.”

A third witness, identified as an off-duty law enforcement officer, said that they had observed the Ford Taurus run the stop sign and pull around into a lane of travel. The off-duty officers told Mills Police that they estimated the Taurus was travelling approximately 70 mph in a posted 40 mph zone.

Police say that Manthei was observed to have wet clothing, and was identified by witnesses as the driver of the Taurus. Mills Police say that Manthei claimed that he had lost control of the vehicle while negotiating a curve in the roadway.

A bottle of prescription drugs, identified as Clonazepam, were found on Manthei’s person. An affidavit filed in the case says that the pill bottle was identified as being labeled for another individual. Manthei claimed that the pills belonged to a family member and he was taking the medication to them.

Mills Police officers describe Manthei of smelling of alcoholic beverage, and the suspect admitted to consuming two shots and a beer, prior to the police contact.

After a series of Standardized Field Sobriety tests, Mills PD says that Manthei was arrested and transported to the Natrona County Detention Center.

The controlled substances that Manthei is charged with having were identified during the initial appearance, as Tramadol and Clonazepam. During his appearance, Manthei again claimed the drugs belonged to a family member who had a prescription. He also announced that the vehicle had insurance.

Manthei entered a “not guilty” plea to all of the charges and was given a bond amount of $550 cash or surety.

All of those cited or arrested are presumed innocent until convicted in a court of law. Charges are subject to change following official filings from the Natrona County District Attorney’s Office.