Bill Sniffin: Who is the Trucker Who Video’d the Interstate 80 Crash?

in Column/Bill Sniffin

By Bill Sniffin, Cowboy State Daily

Who is David Cuarezma?

Cuarezma is just a trucker who happened to keep his cool and video that recent horrific crash on Interstate 80 that killed four and injured 30 near Wamsutter. He recently posted on Facebook that his video has 500,000 views, 80,000 shares, and he has received more than 1,000 friend requests. He had 59 friends on FB prior to the posting the video Sunday.

He called Interstate 80 “the most dangerous road in the United State.”

The video worked to make both Cuarezma and Wyoming’s wintry roads famous. One of the first news outlets to post that video was Cowboy State Daily. It had more than 133 shares.

He is the proverbial flatlander being asked by his company to drive across towering Wyoming mountain passes during blizzards, icy roads, and blinding conditions. He is from Miami and lists himself as being from Managua, Managua, which I assume means Nicaragua.

The trucker wrote that he was hanging out at a truck stop near Wamsutter for two days already and his back hurts. He said the company wants him to keep driving even though his truck is damaged. “We refuse to drive a crashed trailer. Is not safe at all, so we are getting fired! Wow!”

We cannot verify any of this except that it is on his Facebook page and bunch of his friends and fellow truckers chimed in on the difficulty of the situation:

Sheali Locklear wrote: “My husband (a trucker) made a last minute decision to not take this route.”

Damon Haynes: “Interstate 80 in winter is no joke.”

Lisa Gardiner: “Devastating, thank the lord you walked away. Your work is obviously not done in the Lord’s eyes. God bring you peace. Can’t imagine what you’re dealing with in your mind right now.”

Brad Daniel: “No. It isn’t the most dangerous road. You morons need to learn how to drive.”

Melanie Hilderbrand: “You are right about Interstate 80. I think our state needs to just shut it down. This wasn’t the first pile up and it won’t be the last. Thanks for being concerned about everyone.”

Some spirited comments were made to the Cowboy State Daily Facebook page that were interesting:

Daniel Ballinger: “The problem is people STOP and then PARK on the highway in bad weather. Who does that? In February 1986 I helped get 200 plus cars off I-80 right near Lone Tree junction. Semis, Dump Trucks and about 200 cars just stopped and parked on the highway. I almost ran into them but was able to drive off road. The wind must have been blowing 60 mph in a White Out. PLEASE Keep in mind I wrote this post before watching the video. People never learn. I remember reading that 91% of all highway fatalities involve tractor trailers. It is simple physics. Passenger cars and trucks have no chance against Semi Trucks that weigh 60,000 to 80,000 lbs. Sad and unnecessary. Be careful out there.”

Patrick Sutton: “This is a terrible thing that plays out time and time again on Wyoming I-80 and I -25, Why? Because people are not used to the roads here in Wyoming. When the WYDOT signs say slow down; that means slow your speed down by 15 or 20 MPH not speed up 20 MPH because you have 18 wheels. Listen truckers: 18 wheels slide just as easily as 4. I want to pinpoint truckers because that is the root of the problem on the highways in Wyoming. I have seen truckers actually run vehicles off the road to save what, 15 seconds, ridiculous!!! We are a mile up people the weather is always going to be more unpredictable than at lower elevations. Wake Up Truckers!”

Steven Lazare: “One observation to make is that I’ve noticed so many foreign nationals driving who have no experience in long hall trucking in snowy weather. It takes years to gain experience. Driving schools don’t give enough warning and training to these relatively new people. I’ve seen pileups from Oregon to Iowa that have happened from lack of understanding when roads become slick or outside temps drop even during rain which alters the handling severely.”

Nina Trapp: “Telling people, especially truckers, to slow down is like talking to a brick wall. I am sick of this. I intend to write governor Gordon and I urge every Wyoming citizen to do the same thing.”

Jennifer Georges: “This tragedy has been repeated so many times on Wyoming’s Highways during the winter. What can we do to prevent this from happening over and over? Too many semi’s too close together. Cars, SUVs and small trucks can’t stand a chance when mixed with semi’s…”

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