Multi-vehicle crash closes I-80 west of Laramie
March 26, 2006
(Elk Mountain) 3/26/06, 9:30 PM Update: According to the Wyoming Highway Patrol (WHP), a full road closure by WYDOT on Interstate 80 remains in effect from Cheyenne to Rawlins on both the westbound and eastbound lanes due to a multi-vehicle crash 9 miles east of Elk Mountain in Carbon County that has so far claimed 6 lives. Printable PDF of latest Wyoming Highway Patrol Report (9:30 PM)
Small and large tow trucks have been called to the scene to begin the removal process of the crashed vehicles. Heavy equipment in the form of front end loaders are being used to untangle the 20 or more vehicles in the first group of crushed vehicles. The first group of vehicles where the fatalities occurred consists of commercial tractor-trailer combination vehicles, passenger vehicle and pickups.
Troopers are on scene in the area of mile post #269 on westbound Interstate 80, approximately 9 miles east of the Elk Mountain Interchange. The crash involves total road blockage on the eastbound side of the Interstate. An unknown number of injured victims have been transported via ground ambulances to Ivinson Memorial Hospital in Laramie and to Carbon County Memorial Hospital in Rawlins. An Albany County Sheriff's Department transport van is shuttling individuals who were not injured to Laramie.
Troopers temporarily closed westbound Interstate 80 around 2:35 pm today due to multiple crashes on the Interstate east of Elk Mountain. Extreme weather conditions in the area of Elk Mountain have reduced visibility to zero due to strong winds blowing snow and heavy snowfall. Strong winds continue to cause ground blizzards which limit visibility at the scene and are now causing drifting around the crashed vehicles.
Fire department and rescue units from Elk Mountain and Laramie are at the area. Troopers at the scene are experiencing extreme weather conditions in the area of Elk Mountain due to strong winds and snow. The strong winds have reduced visibility to zero due to ground blizzard conditions with a heavy snowfall.
Troopers who were off duty and not at work in the Laramie and Elk Mountain area have been called out to assist by evacuating motorists as needed, assist victims and assist in the investigation. Fire departments from Saratoga, Rawlins, Hanna/Elk Mountain, Arlington and Laramie have been requested to respond by Troopers who are on scene.
US 30 westbound out of Laramie is also closed and is experiencing the same weather conditions that are being experienced on Interstate 80. There are reports of multiple crashes on US 30 as well. At this time it is unknown how many vehicles are involved in the multiple crashes near the area of mile post #269.
Interstate 80 will remain closed until it is safe to re-open. Motorists are advised to find an alternate route of travel if they plan to travel at all. See the Wyoming Department of Transportation Road Condition report website below for the latest travel reports. Travel and road condition reports are also available by calling 1-888-WYO-ROAD (1-888-996-7623) in Wyoming or 307-772-0824 outside Wyoming.
www.wyoroad.info Wyoming Road Condition Reports, Closures & Advisories
Map showing current road closures across Wyoming
WYDOT text listing of current state road closures