News of Riverton, Lander and Fremont County, Wyoming, from the Ranger's award winning journalists.
Three injured Friday in another car wreck at Honor Farm intersection
Dec 9, 2012 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer
Three people were injured in a spectacular two-vehicle accident that took place Friday evening at the intersection of Honor Farm Road and Wyoming Highway 789 north of Riverton.
The site has been a frequent location for automobile wrecks.
Officials responded to the crash at about 5:15 p.m. Friday, after a 17-year-old boy driving a Chevy Blazer with Colorado plates failed to yield to oncoming traffic when he crossed the highway from Honor Farm Road.
"He stopped, but he didn't wait long enough," Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper Roger Veach said Saturday.
"He got basically T-boned by a northbound vehicle (that was) going around highway speed."
The speed limit is set at 65 miles per hour for motorists driving on Highway 789 past Honor Farm Road.
Veach said the 17-year-old driver had to be extricated from the Blazer, which was knocked about 50 feet off the highway.
The boy is reported to have suffered a fractured pelvis in the crash and was transported to Riverton Memorial Hospital.
His passenger, another 17-year-old boy from the area, was treated and released from RMH for "mostly bruises and scrapes."
The driver of the northbound Nissan Maxima involved, Earl Veach, 45, of Riverton -- Roger Veach's cousin -- was treated and released from RMH for minor injuries. Modern safety equipment deployed in the Maxima, which sustained massive front-end damage.
Roger Veach said he didn't realize his relative was involved in the accident until they saw one another at the scene.
"Not until I went to the ambulance," he said. "We shook hands. ... It could've been a whole lot worse. They're all really fortunate, especially the driver of the SUV."
Both drivers involved were wearing their seatbelts, he added; the 17-year-old passenger was not.
An eyewitness said she "couldn't believe it" when she saw the SUV drive directly into the path of the Maxima.
"He just pulled right out in front of the other car. It was a huge collision," she said.
The witness, who was waiting to enter the highway from the Country Acres Road intersection to the west, notified emergency services on her cell phone moments after the accident and helped assess the situation over the telephone as emergency personnel were on the way to the scene.
Roger Veach said the 17-year-old driver was cited for failure to yield the right-of-way to oncoming traffic. Witnesses said the boy stopped his vehicle at the intersection but proceeded as though he did not see the oncoming Maxima.
"It was just a young kid who didn't pay close enough attention, really," Roger Veach said. "It's an intersection you have to watch real close."
The Wyoming Department of Transportation has installed multiple safety devices at the intersection in an effort to address the accidents -- several of them fatal -- that have taken place there.
Roger Veach said both vehicles involved in Friday's accident were totaled. The Blazer came to rest in a field northwest of the intersection, while the Maxima stopped on the shoulder of the road, also northwest of the intersection, facing in the opposite direction of its original travel and in the opposite lane.
A portion of the highway was blocked off for about an hour while officials cleared debris from the roadway. Vehicles were backed up for more than a mile on the Riverton side during busy Friday evening traffic.
A large streak of liquid extended from the impact point to the Maxima, but it was not determined to be hazardous.
Roger Veach said the Riverton Police Department, Fremont County Sheriff's Office, and local and county firefighters responded to the scene along with emergency medical personnel.
At one point there were 15 emergency vehicles on the scene, including three ambulances and a fire engine.
-- Publisher Steve Peck contributed to this story