News of Riverton, Lander and Fremont County, Wyoming, from the Ranger's award winning journalists.
Unrestrained boy hurt in DUI car wreck
May 6, 2014 - From staff reports
A 3-year-old Riverton boy suffered serious injuries Saturday in a one-vehicle traffic accident that reportedly involved an intoxicated driver.
Officials said the child suffered a non-life-threatening leg injury that required he be flown to Denver for treatment.
A 2-year-old Riverton boy also suffered minor injuries in the incident, and a 23-year-old Riverton woman was hospitalized as a result of the crash, which took place at about 7:40 p.m. Saturday at the intersection of North Portal and Missouri Valley roads north of Riverton.
According to reports, all of the victims were passengers in a 2000 Ford Explorer driven by Joseph Babcock, 24, of Riverton, who was arrested for driving under the influence with a child, two counts of child endangerment, open container, failure to stop, and failure to restrain a child passenger.
Officials said the 3-year-old -- Babcock's son -- was unrestrained in the vehicle, while the 2-year-old was in a car seat. The 2-year-old was treated and released from Riverton Memorial Hospital.
The 23-year-old woman also was charged with child endangerment; her name was not released because she was only cited and was not arrested. She reportedly was intoxicated at the time of the crash.
Although the 23-year-old is not the mother of the children, Fremont County Undersheriff Ryan Lee said, "it is alleged she allowed or did not stop the children from being put in this situation."
Babcock reportedly was driving south on North Portal Road when he failed to stop at the intersection with Missouri Valley Road. The vehicle reportedly collided with a ditch and "other obstacles." Witnesses said Babcock tried to conceal his alcohol after the collision. Officials said Babcock failed all field sobriety tests and smelled of alcohol. His blood-alcohol content was found to be "well over the legal limit."