News of Riverton, Lander and Fremont County, Wyoming, from the Ranger's award winning journalists.
Snow brings wrecks, road closures
Apr 16, 2013 - By Christina George and Katie Roenigk, Staff Writers
At least two minor traffic accidents were reported Tuesday morning as snow continued to fall in Fremont County.
The sheriff's office reported a Lander school bus slid off the highway at about 7:15 a.m. Tuesday. Sheriff's Capt. Ryan Lee said the incident happened at milepost 67 on U.S. Highway 28.
"We received a call about a bus that slid off the road with absolutely no injuries," Lee said. "(It) was trying to get back on the roadway."
The Wyoming Highway Patrol handled the call, Lee added.
A rollover was also reported to the sheriff's office at about 7:45 a.m. Tuesday. A male subject reportedly rolled his vehicle several times near milepost 125 on Highway 789 between Riverton and Shoshoni.
Lee said he believed the incident to be minor.
Two roads were closed Tuesday in Fremont County, though officials said only one was because of local weather.
Wyoming Department of Transportation maintenance foreman Robin Clapp said his agency closed Wyoming Highway 789 between Lander and Muddy Gap on Tuesday due to road conditions.
"It must've been slick and blowing snow," Clapp said Tuesday. "They closed both directions between Muddy Gap and the junction (south of Lander)."
He said that decision necessitated the closure of Wyoming Highway 135 between Riverton and Sweetwater Station. Clapp pointed out that motorists would have nowhere to turn if they drove from Riverton to Sweetwater Station, where the only two routes -- to Lander and Muddy Gap -- were closed.
"As soon as they open (that highway), we'll open our gates and people can go," Clapp said, adding that the closure notice came at about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday. "The roads (here) are not bad. They're a little slick, but it's mostly wet right now."
Noting that interstates 25 and 80 also are closed, Clapp said people with travel plans involving those highways should stay put for now.
"Pretty much anybody trying to get that direction isn't going to get there," he said.
South Pass was not closed Tuesday, but officials said chain laws were in effect on the mountain highway, and no light trailers were permitted on the road. South Pass reportedly was slick with snowfall and strong winds gusts measuring up to 40 mph.
Snow continued to fly Tuesday, adding to the 2.8 inches that fell in Lander and the .5 inch that fell in Riverton on Monday.
The recent precipitation follows a weather system last week that dropped upward of a foot of snow in parts of the county, including as much as 28 inches in Lander.
Weather officials expected Riverton and Lander each to receive 3 to 5 inches of snow Tuesday afternoon. Two to 4 inches of snow could accumulate overnight Tuesday in Riverton.