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Riverton man hurt in wreck that killed three recovering in Utah from serious injury

Mar 22, 2017 By Kelli Ameling, Staff Writer

A Riverton man who was taken by air ambulance to Utah after being involved in a crash March 14 north of Lander is recovering from his injuries.

Brian Rhodes, 42, of Riverton, was driving his 1993 Chevrolet Silverado south on Wyoming Highway 789 at about 8:15 p.m. March 14 when a northbound 2003 Honda Pilot SUV lost control and spun in front of him about two miles north of Lander, according to reports.

Darion Wheeler, 18, of Lander, Destinee Wheeler, 15, of Hudson, and Paul McEwan, 20, of Greybull, suffered fatal injuries on scene, Wyoming Highway Patrol Public Relations Sgt. David Wagener said. The three were in the Honda Pilot SUV, operated by Darion Wheeler.

Injuries

Rhodes's wife, Cora, said he suffered a broken leg, hip and shoulder and also had a brain bleed.

"There will be just months and months of therapy," she said.

Recalling the crash, Cora Rhodes described the incident.

"It was an accident, a tragic, tragic accident," she said. "But, it was just that, an accident."

Cora Rhodes said her family sends condolences to the families who lost their loved ones.

"This is something that will always be in (Brian Rhodes's) heart," she said. "It is just tragic all the way around."

A fund has been set up at Central Bank and Trust for Rhodes to help with his recovery. Donations can be made to "Rhodes Fund Account," at any CB&T location.

Fatal crash

Emergency crews were dispatched at 8:12 p.m. March 14 to milepost 84 on Wyoming Highway 789 just past the landfill in Lander on a report of two-vehicle crash. It was dispatched as a "possible head-on" crash with multiple people involved.

"The SUV failed to properly negotiate a left-hand curve in the highway as the vehicle drifted east," Wagener said. "The SUV was overcorrected, sending the SUV into a counter-clockwise spin."

While the vehicle was spinning, it entered the southbound lanes, colliding with Rhodes's Silverado.

Excessive speeds and driver inattention are being investigated as contributing factors to the crash, however, Wagener said he did not know yet how fast the vehicles were going.

Darion Wheeler was the only one wearing a seat belt during the crash, but Destinee Wheeler, McEwan and Rhodes were not ejected from their vehicles.

A GoFundMe.com page has been set up for Destinee and Darion Wheeler. It can be found by searching "Wheeler Family Services Fund."

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2017-10-22