News of Riverton, Lander and Fremont County, Wyoming, from the Ranger's award winning journalists.
Teens in fatal wreck both had 'DNR' written on their arms
Jun 20, 2013 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer
Wyoming Highway Patrol officials confirmed Wednesday that the Wisconsin teens involved in a fatal car crash last week near Hudson had the letters "DNR" written on their arms.
"Those reports were correct," WHP Lt. Tom Adams said.
DNR typically means "do not resuscitate."
Other news outlets had suggested that the teens also were found with a note requesting that their body parts be donated and that they be buried together. Adams indicated that those reports were false.
"There was no note," he said.
Adams would not release more about the ongoing investigation into the crash, which was reported at about 5:24 p.m. Wednesday 3.5 miles east of Lander on Wyoming Highway 789.
Chase Schweitzer, 19, of Arkdale, Wis., died at the scene of the collision, while the two other people involved survived. According to reports, Schweitzer had been driving southbound on the highway with passenger Andrea Esser, 17, of Sun Prairie, Wis., when his red 1998 Ford Contour crossed two lanes of travel for unknown reasons and entered the northbound lane.
The car collided with an oncoming 2009 Ford F150 pickup truck driven by Michelle Caines, 43, of Lander. Officials said Caines saw the vehicle coming into her lane of travel and attempted to brake and swerve to avoid a head-on crash. But despite her efforts, the vehicles collided in a "near head-on impact," according to reports.
Both vehicles left the roadway to the east. Officials said the Contour struck a power pole and ejected both occupants, who were not wearing seatbelts.
Schweitzer was pronounced dead at the scene, but Esser was hospitalized at Lander Regional Hospital, then transported to Colorado.
"That last I heard she was recovering, but she's in pretty bad shape," Adams said.
Caines, who was wearing a seatbelt, was treated and released from LRH.
Adams couldn't say why the Wisconsin residents were in Wyoming, and he doesn't think the teenagers have relatives in the area. He said he wasn't sure why the Contour had drifted into the oncoming lane.
"We think we know, but our investigation is not complete yet," Adams said.
He didn't suspect that alcohol or drugs were involved in the crash, which left the highway's northbound lane closed while officials cleared the scene of debris. Adams anticipated more information would be released this week.