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Teen driver killed Christmas Eve in one-vehicle wreck

Dec 26, 2012 - By Christina George, Staff Writer

Authorities say 18-year-old Clarence J. Armajo Jr. died in the crash on Plunkett Road.

A one-vehicle rollover on the Wind River Indian Reservation on Christmas Eve morning claimed the life of a Lander teen.

Authorities say 18-year-old Clarence J. Armajo Jr. was pronounced dead at Lander Regional Hospital at 8:14 a.m. Monday, Dec. 24, after crashing his 1999 Pontiac Grand Pix on Plunkett Road.

"It was a one-vehicle rollover, and he was ejected," Fremont County Coroner Ed McAuslan said. "He died from blunt-force trauma."

According to a report from Wyoming Highway Patrol, Armajo, who was the sole occupant, was southbound in the 400 block of Plunkett Road at 7:10 a.m. when he failed to negotiate a slight right-hand curve in the roadway.

Police say Armajo then went into a slide and exited the right side of the highway.

His vehicle rolled roughly two and a half times.

"Armajo, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was totally ejected from the vehicle during the rollover," the highway patrol report stated. "Excessive speed is being investigated as a potential contributing factor."

McAuslan said an autopsy is not scheduled.

His agency is awaiting results from toxicology testing to determine if drugs or alcohol were involved in the fatality.

"There is no reason to say one way or the other," McAuslan said about controlled substance use. "The toxicology samples were drawn, and we are waiting for the results."

According to the Fremont County Sheriff's dispatch log, police received a call at 7:13 a.m. concerning the crash.

"We took the 911 call and dispatched the ambulance but (had) no law enforcement action," Sheriff's Capt. Ryan Lee said.

Lander Rural Fire Department chief Dave Peevey said he responded to the crash as an emergency medical service assist.

He said he arrived at the scene ahead of the ambulance traveling from Lander and immediately began performing CPR on the victim, in cooperation with a Bureau of Indian Affairs police officer.

Peevey said he believed Armajo was traveling on Plunkett Road from 17 Mile Road.

"From what I can see, it looked like they went through the fence," he said about the victim. "I believe they rolled and were thrown from the vehicle."

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Wind River Indian Reservation