People Killed in I-80 Wrecks Identified

in News/Transportation

The three people killed in Sunday’s massive accidents on Interstate 80 west of Rawlins all died in accidents that occurred in the interstate’s westbound lanes, the Wyoming Highway Patrol announced Thursday.

Patrol officials, in a news release, also reduced the number of vehicles involved in the two wrecks, which occurred just a few miles from each other, from more than 100 to about 70.

The patrol identified those killed as Deborah Carrel, 53, of Marshall, Michigan, Emman Ojiaka, 64, of Denton, Texas, and Kian Kennedy, 27, of Hampton, Georgia.

The accidents first reported Sunday afternoon, combined with winter road conditions, forced the closure of much of the interstate between Laramie and Rock Springs for two days.

According to the Highway Patrol, about 30 vehicles, most of them commercial vehicles, were involved in the crash in the interstate’s westbound lanes near Creston Junction, about 26 miles west of Rawlins.

The patrol said Carrel was a passenger in a Toyota Highlander that was struck by a commercial motor vehicle.

Ojiaka and Kennedy were both drivers of commercial vehicles.

The accident in the eastbound lanes of the highway involved about 40 vehicles. About 30 people were injured and were treated at Carbon County Memorial Hospital.

The patrol said driving too fast for road conditions and following to closely are being investigated as the likely causes of the crashes.

“Roadways were very icy with snowfall and blowing snow creating limited visibility at the time of the crashes,” the release said.

Early estimates had put the number of vehicles involved in the accidents at more than 100.

“Due to the dynamics of the crash scene, some vehicles were initially counted that were not part of any crash,” the release said. “As the investigation progressed, the total number of vehicles involved decreased.”

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