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Pickup totaled after striking rear wheel of tractor-trailer; charges pending

May 7, 2013 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

Officials think alcohol may have been a factor in the Friday accident.

Officials said charges are pending against the driver of a pickup truck that drifted into a tractor-trailer combination early Friday south of Riverton.

No one was seriously injured in the incident, which took place at about 6:30 a.m. Friday on Wyoming Highway 789 near Beaver Creek Housing. According to reports, Jarrod Guina, 22, of Fort Washakie, was headed north in a maroon 1990 Ford pickup truck when he crossed the center line and struck the rear wheel and tire of the tractor-trailer driven by Robert Forster, 56, of Riverton.

"Basically what (Guina) did was he straightened out a corner," Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper Brian Bragonier said Friday. "There's a very slight corner there, and he straightened it out and went into the oncoming lane."

The pickup was going about 40 mph at the time, Bragonier said. When it struck the tractor-trailer combination the truck reportedly spun off of the road and came to rest in a ditch to the west.

"The pickup truck was completely totaled," Bragonier said.

The tractor-trailer, which belongs to R & C Trucks out of Thermopolis, was pulling a double load and reportedly sustained damage to its sixth axle.

"It destroyed the tire and the rim on the outside tire of that axle," Bragonier said. "But (Forster) actually just drove down the road a little bit off to the side and then stopped."

Forster was uninjured, Bragonier said, but three of the four occupants of the pickup truck -- including the driver -- were transported to Riverton Memorial Hospital, where they remained mid-morning Friday.

"They're still trying to decide what kind of injuries they have," he said. "It's nothing life-threatening though."

Possible DUI

Guina and his three female passengers all appeared to be intoxicated at the time of the crash, Bragonier said, describing the women as Wind River Indian Reservation residents in their late teens or early 20s.

He said the Bureau of Indian Affairs will follow up on possible driving under the influence charges for Guina.

"Knowing how intoxicated one of the other passengers was, I'm anticipating (a) pretty high blood-alcohol content (for Guina)," Bragonier said. "She said she hadn't drunk as much as the rest of them."

He guessed that Guina may have fallen asleep just before the collision occurred.

"I'm sure that having a little bit too much alcohol in his system helped with that," Bragonier said.

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