Former Wyoming State Senator Crushed by 4,000-Pound Trailer

Former State Sen. Tom James was trying to disconnect a trailer from his truck Sunday when the footing broke and it rolled over onto him. A good Samaritan spotted the accident and James was life-flighted to a Loveland, Colorado, hospital.

LW
Leo Wolfson

July 17, 20232 min read

Former Wyoming state lawmaker Tom James was hurt Sunday in a farming accident when a trailer fell on him. He was saved when a Good Samaritan noticed him in trouble and got help. He's recovering at Medical Center of the Rockies in Denver.
Former Wyoming state lawmaker Tom James was hurt Sunday in a farming accident when a trailer fell on him. He was saved when a Good Samaritan noticed him in trouble and got help. He's recovering at Medical Center of the Rockies in Denver. (Photos Courtesy Jennifer James)

A former Wyoming state senator was crushed by a 4,000-pound trailer Sunday.

Had it not been for a good samaritan who spotted Tom James while driving past his farm in Carpenter, the former Green River lawmaker may have died.

“I don't know what I would have done if he had not survived. We are newlyweds and he is my whole life,” his wife Jennifer James told Cowboy State Daily on Monday morning.

Tom James, a Republican, served in the Wyoming Legislature from 2019-2022. He moved to Carpenter, about 35 minutes east of Cheyenne, earlier this summer.

Jennifer James said her husband’s left leg is paralyzed and it’s still unknown whether it will recover.

Tom James, a former Wyoming senator representing Green River, is hospitalized in Denver after a Sunday farm accident.
Tom James, a former Wyoming senator representing Green River, is hospitalized in Denver after a Sunday farm accident. (Photo Courtesy Jennifer James)

How It Happened?

Tom James, 40, became pinned beneath the trailer while alone on his farm attempting to disconnect it from a truck. His wife said the footing on the trailer broke, causing it to roll over onto him.

Jennifer James said her husband was pinned for about 20 minutes before anyone saw him. A registered nurse, Jennifer James was on her way home from work in Laramie at the time of the incident.

It was not until about five cars passed that a man from Greeley, Colorado, finally spotted Tom James near the gate of the farm and heard his calls for help.

The man attempted to raise the trailer with a car jack before emergency responders arrived, but was not successful.

Tom James, a former Wyoming senator representing Green River, suffered damage to his left leg and hand when a trailer fell on him on his farm Sunday.
Tom James, a former Wyoming senator representing Green River, suffered damage to his left leg and hand when a trailer fell on him on his farm Sunday. (Photo Courtesy Jennifer James)

Speedy Response

Volunteer responders from Laramie County Fire District #6, based out of Burns, were able to get the trailer off James rather quickly, about 30 minutes after it had fallen on him.

With the help of American Medical Response, James was life-flighted to the Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland, Colorado, where he was treated by a trauma team. 

He was still in the hospital as of Monday morning in stable condition. James suffered severe damage to his left leg and left hand, and is expected to recover and will be attending physical therapy.

Jennifer James credited the quick response of the good Samaritan, her neighbors and emergency responders for saving her husband’s life. She said her husband is in good spirits and thanked those who have offered support on social media and through prayer.

Leo Wolfson can be reached at Leo@CowboyStateDaily.com.

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LW

Leo Wolfson

Politics and Government Reporter