UPDATE: Interstate 80 Closed Until Late Morning Monday
By Jimmy Orr, Cowboy State Daily
Forty-four semi-trucks and cars were involved in two separate crashes on Saturday afternoon near the Wagonhound rest area between Elk Mountain and Laramie on Interstate 80.
The Wyoming Highway Patrol announced late Saturday that one person was killed and other injuries were sustained. One accident happened at westbound mile marker 261 and the other at westbound mile marker 266.
No other information about the fatality or the injuries was released.
Carbon County Public Safety dispatch said firefighters were on the scene working to clean-up fuel spills at mile markers 266, 265, and 261.
Photos shared on social media showed the semis piled-up and strewn about the interstate while dozens more lined-up behind them.
The Wyoming Department of Transportation reported that the crashes began around 1:30pm at mile marker 266 on Interstate 80 westbound.
“The large scale event will take the Wyoming Highway Patrol hours to investigate and the road will be closed for an indeterminate amount of time,” WYDOT said in a statement.
To make matters worse, a winter storm warning is continuing in the area with sub-zero temperatures, winds gusting to 45mph, along with snow forecast from six – 12 inches.
The priority, according to officials on dispatch, was getting school busses, apparently stuck on Interstate 80, back to Laramie.
There are WYDOT web cameras at the Wagonhound Exit but none were working.
The Albany County Sheriff’s Office released a video taken by a sheriff’s deputy driving past the wreckage showing some of the wreckage on Interstate 80.
“Today is an all hands on deck situation. First responders from all agencies have been working diligently and tirelessly during this blast from mother nature,” the sheriff’s office said.
Editor’s note: Earlier in the day, the Albany County Sheriff’s Office reported that more than 50 vehicles were involved in the accidents.
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