A Utah man was identified as the one who died Monday in a crash on Wyoming Highway 230.
The five-vehicle crash near the turn for Harmony Elementary School caused the highway to close for multiple hours in the afternoon and evening.
A Ford Superduty pickup truck, driven by 65-year-old Laramie resident Steve Bottger, was stopped on the highway around milepost 19 waiting to make a left turn onto Tumbleweed Lane, according to a Wyoming Highway Patrol news release.
Also driving eastbound behind the Ford Superduty was a 2000 Peterbilt tractor-trailer, driven by 52-year-old Utah resident Matthew Anderson, and a 2012 GMC pickup driven by 37-year-old Laramie resident Brandon Chimenti.
As a 2015 Peterbilt tractor-trailer was driving westbound, the news release said, Chimenti pulled out to pass Anderson’s tractor-trailer. Although he completed the pass, he did “not notice that the Ford pickup was stopped, waiting to make a left turn,” the news release said.
The GMC pickup collided with the rear of the Ford pickup, pushing the pickup into the westbound lane of travel and into the path of the 2015 Peterbilt, resulting in a head-on collision.
The collision caused the 2015 Peterbilt, driven by 56-year-old Bayard, Nebraska, resident William Bennett, to lose control and drift into the eastbound lane, where it collided head-on with Anderson’s tractor-trailer, causing it to roll one time.
The crash caused hay being carried by one of the tractor-trailers to catch fire, resulting in the closure of the highway as crews worked to extinguish it.
Anderson succumbed to injuries sustained in the crash on the scene. It is unknown whether he was wearing a seat belt.
Both Bennett and Chimenti were wearing their seatbelts at the time of the crash and were transported to Ivinson Memorial Hospital for injuries.
Bottger was not wearing his seatbelt and was transported to IMH for injuries sustained in the crash.
Officers are investigating driver inattention, unsafe passing and Chimenti’s speed as possible contributing factors to the crash, according to the news release.
This is the 123rd fatality on Wyoming’s roadways this year.