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North Highway 59 fatal crash survivor charged with vehicular homicide

(Wyoming Highway Patrol)

GILLETTE, Wyo. — Prosecutors have charged the survivor of a head-on collision that killed 33-year-old Casper resident Aaron Foster last week with vehicular homicide, Campbell County court records say. 

Nicholas L. Alvarez, 37, is charged with causing Foster’s death after the investigation revealed he crossed the center line on North Highway 59 while driving impaired, resulting in a head-on crash between their vehicles on Nov. 9, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed in the case. 

Foster, who had been operating a 2018 Ford Raptor, was pronounced deceased at the scene. Alvarez, who had been operating a box truck, was receiving aid from a Colorado resident who stopped to help when Wyoming Highway Patrol troopers arrived to investigate the crash. The resident reported that Alvarez asked him to hide several open and sealed alcoholic beverages that were in the cab of his vehicle, per the affidavit. 

Inside Alvarez’s vehicle, troopers reportedly located several open and sealed Keystone Light tall boy–style cans, a Michelob beverage can, and three marijuana joints that weighed approximately 2.6 grams, according to the affidavit. 

Alvarez was transported to the hospital, where he allegedly and spontaneously admitted to consuming one beer to calm his nerves because he had never driven in snow before, the affidavit states. 

The 37-year-old has been charged with felony vehicular homicide, having an open alcohol container in a motor vehicle, and unlawfully possessing a controlled substance. 

Court records indicate Alvarez was arraigned on Nov. 14 before Campbell County Circuit Court Judge Wendy Bartlett, who set bond for him at $100,000 cash or commercial surety. 

A preliminary hearing to determine whether sufficient probable cause exists to send Alvarez’s case to District Court for further proceedings has been set for Nov. 21.