The Wyoming Highway Patrol continues to investigate whether something was wrong with the brakes of a semitrailer that jackknifed against a guardrail and spilled thousands of pounds of bentonite in northern Wyoming.
Ariel Crespo Sori, 51, of Houston, Texas, survived the Oct. 5 crash but was hurt and flown to Casper for treatment, Trooper Jason Roascio, public information officer for Wyoming Highway Patrol’s District 4, told Cowboy State Daily on Thursday.
Sori is suspected of not checking his brakes before a mountain descent.
A law enforcement agent cited Crespo Sori on suspicion of reckless driving, on claims that the truck driver didn’t check his brakes at the mandatory brake-check turnout at the slope on U.S. Highway 16 outside of Buffalo.
RVs, commercial vehicles and any vehicles towing a trailer are required to stop and check their brakes there, Roascio said.
Crespo Sori’s truck barreled down the mountain and failed to navigate a set of curves, then jackknifed and rolled onto the guardrail.
Crespo Sori was ejected from the truck toward the nearby Mosier Gulch stream, Roascio said.
The guardrail that the truck broke hems the highway in from a steep decline toward a hiking trail.
Roascio told Cowboy State Daily the truck was hauling 40,000 pounds of bentonite.
The Wyoming Highway Patrol has not yet determined whether something went wrong with Crespo Sori’s brakes, or whether high speeds on the curves spoiled the truck’s descent.
The zone has an 8% grade and a speed limit of 65 mph on straightaways, but the curve where the truck rolled has a special limit of 40 mph, Roascio said.
The trooper said the truck also damaged a retaining wall, along with the guardrail.
Clair McFarland can be reached at Clair@CowboyStateDaily.com.