A Meeteetse man who reportedly drove into Powell at about 143 mph last week and crashed into four cars now faces two felony charges.
Cameron M. Boni, 49, told a state trooper he sped from Burlington to Powell on Thursday because he believed people were chasing him and had rigged his car with explosives. But when Wyoming Highway Patrol Trooper Daniel Hite checked Boni for signs of chemical impairment, Boni showed no evidence that he was impaired, according to an evidentiary affidavit filed in the case.
Park County deputy attorney Jack Hatfield II charged Boni on May 11 with aggravated assault, which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and $10,000 in fines, and with felony property destruction, which carries the same maximum penalty.
Boni also faces a misdemeanor charge of driving without insurance, punishable by up to six months in jail and between $500 and $1,500 in fines.
Standing Outside The Maverick
Lt. Matt McCaslin of the Powell Police Department was standing outside the Maverick convenience store in Powell just before 1 p.m. that day talking to someone when he heard a vehicle rushing west on Coulter Avenue at what sounded like a high rate of speed.
When McCaslin saw the black car, it looked like it was going at least 100 mph, he wrote in an evidentiary affidavit.
He ran to his patrol car and took off after the black car, later identified as a 2003 Volkswagen Jetta with Wyoming plates. He also radioed dispatch and let them know what he saw, and as he did so, he heard 911 phones ringing in the background.
He arrived at the crash scene on Coulter Avenue and found heavy traffic, two impacted vehicles in the intersection of Coulter and Absaroka Street, and two more impacted vehicles parked outside the Verizon store nearby.
Boni’s car had “finally” come to rest as well, wrote McCaslin. Hite’s affidavit says the Jetta had front-end damage and all its airbags had inflated.
Airbags Blasting Open
The drivers of the four crashed vehicles, who all had Wyoming license plates, were:
Joseph Woods, in a 2006 gray Dodge Dakota
Meaghan McKeen, in a 2005 gold Honda Pilot
Carol Leboeuf, in a gray 2020 GMC Terrain, with two other passengers
Alvera Smith, in a 2009 Subaru Impreza
Leboeuf was headed westbound on Coulter Avenue in the righthand lane, says the affidavit. McKeen and Woods were headed west on Coulter also, but were stopped at the stoplight at Absaroka in the left-hand lane, with McKeen in front of Woods.
Boni tried to maneuver around Leboeuf and sideswiped the driver’s side of her vehicle, then sideswiped the passenger side of Woods’s vehicle, then McKeen’s, the affidavit says. McKeen’s side front passenger seat airbag plumed.
He then plowed through the intersection, through the red light and crashed into Smith’s Impreza as she turned right onto Coulter Avenue. Smith’s side curtain airbag inflated.
Boni nearly struck a fifth vehicle in the intersection.
The impacts had disabled his car, but it kept hurtling forward on its high-speed momentum until slowing to a stop at Coulter Avenue and Cheyenne Street — about two blocks from the last impact.
Leboeuf, McKeen,and Smith’s vehicles all suffered more than $1,000 in damage, the affidavit says, though Wood’s Dodge had less than $1,000 in apparent damage.
Emergency medical personnel evaluated the people on scene and released them, the affidavit says.
Smith told police later that she went to Powell Valley Hospital’s emergency room for treatment because of pain. She bit down hard during the crash and her teeth were sore. She also had redness and swelling on her left ear from the airbag bursting open, plus neck pain and soreness from the impact, the affidavit says.
Because Of The Explosives
Trooper Hite arrested Boni at about 1:46 that afternoon.
Hite noticed Boni while he was still rushing down the highway outside of Powell, the affidavit says, because two callers reported someone speeding toward town.
Hite left Ralston for Powell, arrived at the crash scene and spoke with Boni, who was in the car alone and appeared “totally uninjured.”
Boni told Hite that he’d left Burlington for Lovell, and as he drove on Highway 32, he felt like people were following him and someone had rigged his car with bombs.
“He felt people had been following him for about a week now, and thought someone may have rigged his car to explode,” wrote Hite, adding that Boni expected to get a large sum of money soon, “and people know that.”
The car smelled of carbon, Boni reportedly told Hite, which is why he thought it was rigged to blow.
Boni didn’t seem concerned about the six people in the other vehicles, wrote Hite.
“Boni’s attitude seemed as though he was only concerned about himself, as well as attempting to avoid whoever was following him,” says Hite’s affidavit.
More drivers came forward and told Hite that Boni had been passing drivers on the highway shoulder.
Hite decided to run Boni through some sobriety tests. But Boni showed no signs or clues of impairment and tested negative for a breath-alcohol test, Hite wrote.
Emergency medical personnel concluded that Boni had not been hurt.
At Least Two Felonies, Before
Boni has been convicted of at least two felonies prior, the prosecutor wrote in his charging documents.
He was convicted in 2001 in Oregon of assault in the third degree, and in 2007 in Wyoming of aggravated assault and battery.