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Update: Evanston Woman Killed After Crashing Into Fireworks Warehouse

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By Sheila McGuire and Mark Tesoro, Uinta County Herald

A tragic accident claimed the life of a longtime Evanston resident early on the morning of Sunday, Nov. 14. Fidelina Saavedra, 66, was on her way to work when the car she was driving crashed into Phantom Fireworks on Overthrust Road.

A press release from the Evanston Police Department states officers responded to Phantom Fireworks at 7:14 Sunday morning after receiving a report that a vehicle had crashed into the building and smoke and fire were coming from the vehicle. The 911 caller said the airbags had deployed and it was not possible to tell if anyone was in the vehicle.

There were flames on the hood of the vehicle when officers arrived; however, they were able to locate one person inside and get her out for transport to Evanston Regional Hospital, where she later succumbed to her injuries. Officers on scene put out the fire using fire extinguishers.

According to the press release, an examination of the crash site showed that Saavedra’s vehicle had been traveling north on Overthrust Road prior to accelerating to a high rate of speed and leaving the roadway at the intersection of West Cheyenne Drive. The vehicle then traveled across the open field and through the parking lot prior to hitting the Phantom Fireworks building.

The EPD release states the events leading up to the crash are still under investigation and the Wyoming Highway Patrol is assisting in that investigation. The release also states, “The Evanston Police Department would like to remind everyone the value seatbelts play in saving lives and how important they [are], even in town.”

On Monday morning, Saavedra’s family remembered her as a loving and devoted wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend. The mother of five and grandmother of 18 was reportedly on her way to work at the Wyoming State Hospital at the time of the accident Sunday morning. They said she had worked as a kitchen aide at WSH for 15-16 years and had been planning on retirement early next year.

Saavedra’s children said their mother was a very kind and selfless woman who would do anything for anybody and was a good friend to everybody.

A devout Catholic, Saavedra loved to give blessings to people, was quick with a hug and a smile and was very social and loved to talk with anyone and everyone. Described as “all about family,” Saavedra also loved to travel to visit her siblings around the country.

As indicated in the press release, Saavedra’s family said they don’t know what happened prior to the crash other than she was on her way to work. They did say, however, that the speculation on social media was upsetting and stressed that their mother did not drink alcohol and that what happened was a terrible accident.

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Caught On Video: 18-Wheeler Blows Over On Highway 85 in Southeastern Wyoming

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Living in Wyoming, we all know the dangers of driving in high wind. Even low-profile vehicles can get blown off the road.

On Monday, however, it was one of those days were numerous vehicles fell victim to the February winds.

First it was the Amazon semi that nearly blew off a bridge south of Chugwater on I-25.

Later in the day, a wind gust toppled another 18-wheeler but this time on Wyoming Highway 85 which makes its way through Hawk Springs, Torrington, and Lingle.

But the difference in this wreck is that someone’s dashcam was on and recorded the incident.

“This was intense to watch and a complete fluke to have captured on film this afternoon,” Beth Wood said. “Driver is ok. Thank you to the good people, volunteer fire departments, and dispatch today!”

“PSA: Wyoming’s wind is NO joke! Use caution, people,” she said.

Wood told Cowboy State Daily that she set-up her dashcam so she could show her kids what ‘sleeping semis’ (a phrase describing turned-over 18-wheelers) look like.

“It was a complete fluke that I got behind the semi that blew over in the video, simply because I was trying to get other footage for the kids,” Wood said.

“Growing up in southeast Wyoming I’ve seen lots of ‘sleeping semi’s’ on the side of the road, but have never witnessed it with my own eyes. My heart was definitely doing double time!”

Wood said as soon as her car stopped, she got on the phone and called 911 while two other motorists ran to check on the driver.

“While on the phone with dispatch, I saw one of the good folks jump up on the tipped over cab and pop the drivers door open and talk to the driver,” Wood said.

“A few minutes later another fellow came and told me the driver was ok and that they’d got the windshield broke out so the driver could get out,” she said.

Once EMS showed up, Wood took off because she said there was nothing else she could do.

“I left because my fiancé is on the Hawk Springs V.F.D. and nothing is more frustrating than the “extra” people who get in the way simply because they are ‘lookie-loos’” she said.

What’s crazy about this accident is that the truck blew over at nearly the same spot as another did earlier in the day.

The Wyoming Department of Transportation said 60+mph crosswinds will make an “extreme blowover event” like again Monday evening and Tuesday.

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