CASPER, Wyo. — Traffic reopened along Interstate 80 today after it had been shut down since Saturday, when a pair of large-scale pileups forced authorities to close the road.
According to Wyoming Highway Patrol Sergeant Jeremy Beck, first responders initially received calls around 1:30 p.m. Saturday for collisions along the highway in Carbon County. Upon reaching the scene, they found there were two separate pileups — one involving 13 vehicles and the other just a few miles further down the road involving 31.
One person died in the larger wreck, and several more were injured across both. Details regarding the deceased individual are not yet available.
Those who were injured were taken to area hospitals, while the uninjured were transported via school bus to the Albany County Fairgrounds. Then began the efforts to clear the roadways and reopen I-80. Emergency personnel had to track where each vehicle was taken and where that vehicle’s driver had been taken, and began the long process of documenting the sequence of events, removing all debris from the roads.
“There were some extensive cleanup efforts, for sure,” Beck said.
Beck said massive wrecks of this scale aren’t common, but aren’t unheard of, either.
“In the last five or so years, we’ve had a handful of crashes that were this bad,” he said. “They generally happen on days like Saturday, with poor weather and dangerous road conditions.”
Beck said more information — including what initially caused the wrecks and details on the fatality — will become available in the near future as officers finalize investigations into what occurred Saturday. He said drivers should take note of ways to stay as safe as possible in hazardous conditions.
“If you are going to drive in that, be extremely careful,” he said. “Give yourself a lot of extra following distance, and stay alert at all times.”