Brandon Steele at initial appearances 6/5/23 (Gregory Hirst, Oil City News)

CASPER, Wyo. — A 20-year-old Casper man has been charged with four felonies resulting from a rollover crash that injured five passengers over a year ago.

The crash occurred after Natrona County Sheriff’s Office deputies disbanded a bonfire at which minors were cited for alcohol consumption in May 2022.

Brandon Steele has been charged with four counts of DUI resulting in serious bodily injury. Each charge carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison. Steele is also charged with reckless endangerment, a misdemeanor.

Steele is presumed innocent until proven or pleading guilty.

Assistant District Attorney Sam Forscher told the court at Steele’s initial appearance Monday that the charges come after a lengthy investigation that required the cooperation of multiple witnesses.

Forshner also cited a portion of the NCSO report alleging that Steele used verbal threats to dissuade one witness from speaking further with investigators.

Deputies located the bonfire party in the foothills off the west end of Casper Mountain on Coal Mountain Road shortly before midnight on April 30, 2022, according to the NCSO.

Steele told investigators he got into the driver’s seat of the truck when deputies arrived and waited for his friends to get in. After driving away, Steele estimated he was going about 65 mph when he entered into a series of curves in the road, ultimately driving the Jeep off the road and rolling several times.

There were multiple head injuries, according to the report. One passenger incurred a broken arm and organ laceration. Another had a dislocated shoulder and internal bleeding. A third passenger underwent surgery for a fractured femur.

Forshner said some of the passengers are still dealing with the injuries.

Witnesses said Steele had shown signs of impairment at the bonfire, and investigators later calculated after a blood draw that Steele’s BAC at the time of the crash was about .13%. 

One witness told investigators that he had encountered Steele in January 2023 and that Steele reportedly said, “If you don’t stop talking to the Sheriff’s Department about the crash, I am going to get my gun and I am going to come and have a chat with your mom.”

Bond was set at $35,000 cash or surety on Monday. If the case advances after a preliminary hearing, Steele will enter a plea in district court.