By Clair McFarland, Cowboy State Daily
The Wyoming hockey community has asked for a “sticks out” vigil in memory of Mauro Diaz and his son Mateo, who died Saturday in an accident in the Wind River Canyon south of Thermopolis.
There also was a third fatality, the Hot Springs County Coroner’s office confirmed to Cowboy State Daily on Monday.
The Casper Oilers Hockey club in a Sunday Facebook post said young Mateo, a team member, “made quite the impression on everyone he came in contact with.”
The club has asked the hockey community to leave their hockey sticks on their front porches this week, with porch lights on, “to honor the terrific young man that he was.”
The sticks-out vigil is a “time-honored tradition” of memorializing lost teammates, the club said.
“Many of us knew (Mateo) from the time he was born and enjoyed watching him grow up and follow in the hockey footsteps of his brothers,” the club said.
Mateo’s father, Mauro, taught at Natrona County High School.
The Natrona County School District extended its condolences to all who are close to the Diaz family and to the community they called home.
“Our deepest sympathies, prayers, and condolences are with the family, friends, school communities, and our entire community,” wrote Tanya Southerland, district spokeswoman, in a Monday email to Cowboy State Daily. “As we grieve and process this tragedy and tremendous loss there are additional counseling services available to students and staff, as may be needed. Again, our sincere condolences, thoughts, and prayers are with the family.”
Mauro Diaz’s friend Shawn Bulle posted Sunday that Mauro was a married father of three boys.
Mauro’s wife and Mateo’s mother, another post said, is in intensive care in the hospital.
The Wind River Canyon was closed for hours on Saturday following the collision.