The Fairfield Fire was one of the most read stories of 2013. Joshua Scheer photo.
(Fremont County, Wyo.) – In County10.com’s second year, we worked to bring readers not only the good and beautiful news, but also the horrible and heart-breaking.
This isn’t a list that we as an office compiled. This is what you, our readers, viewed more than anything else. Routinely, Police Blotter posts are read more than anything else. This post does not include any police blotters.
10. Identity of deceased from Wednesday’s wreck released; ‘DNR’ reportedly written on Wisconsin individuals’ arms - In mid-June, a horrible two-vehicle head-on wreck occurred on a straight stretch of highway between Lander and Hudson. As the investigation continued into the wreck, in which two teens from Wisconsin died, it became apparent that the two planned to commit suicide by vehicle. In this story, the first evidence of the plan became clear.
9. Coroner: Lander fitness center owner’s death related to overuse of herbal products and supplements - The death of Chantel Bowen-Sanchez rocked Lander in April, especially when the Fremont County Coroner’s Office tied supplements to the cause.
8. Casper man was victim in yesterday’s fatal motorcycle crash; Cause of the wreck is still under investigation - A fatal motorcycle wreck that occurred outside of Lander on Highway 789 caused quite a stir. The man, Barry Strang of Casper, had just purchased the motorcycle and was on his inaugural ride when the wreck happened. It was determined that unfamiliarity with the motorcycle was a contributing factor.
7. Teen murder suspects identified and to be tried as adults; Bat and brass knuckles allegedly used in the attack – In early September, David Moss, 25, was brutally beaten to death on the Rails to Trails pathway outside of Riverton. Aleeah Crispin survived the attack but with severe injuries. In this story that came out a week after the murder, it was announced that two Riverton teens, John Ani Potter and Santana Mendoza, were charged in the crimes. Both are 16 and have pleaded not guilty. Mendoza’s file was recently sealed, signaling a possible attempt to move the case to juvenile court. Potter’s file remains unsealed.
6. Triple fatality wreck in Big Horn County included two young children – This story from late September was the only out-of-county story to crack the top 10 most read. Three Manderson residents, including a 3-year-old and a 2-year-old were killed in a wreck at the intersection of WYO 433 and US 20.
5. Riverton man’s dying wish fulfilled; Hospice arranged trip to Wyoming Cowboys final home game – Curtis Schwartzkopf, battling terminal cancer, had a dream fulfilled when he got to attend the Wyoming Cowboy’s overtime victory against Hawaii. The heart-warming adventure was made possible with help from the team at Help for Health Hospice.
4. BREAKING: Magnitude 4.9 Earthquake 16km W of Fort Washakie - In the early morning hours of Saturday, Sept. 21, an earthquake struck in the Wind River Mountain Range about 16 miles west of Fort Washakie. The resulting shake was reportedly felt as close as Lander and as far away as Thermopolis. If you felt it, you probably remember where you were.
3. BREAKING: Lander Fairfield Fire forces evacuation of Sinks Canyon and Homestead Park – For the later half of July, the more than 1,300-acre Fairfield Fire dominated the daily news. The fight against the fire, which threatened a number of homes, cost well over a million dollars. Investigators determined the fire was caused by lightning days before the flames developed. This story in particular broke much of the details surrounding the blaze. See this Flipboard for a collection of County10′s fire coverage.
2. Carnival mishap results in 16-year-old girl flown to Denver with head trauma; Family member said a ride “fell apart” - Jocelyn Clawson suffered serious head injury when a bungee jumping amusement and reportedly fell apart and caused her injuries. The carnival at the Fremont County Fairgrounds was run by North Star Amusements.
1. Amy Wroe Bechtel disappearance takes new turn; Prime suspect on Wyoming’s Death Row – In March, Fremont County Sheriff’s Det. John Zerga told County10 that Dale Wayne Eaton was a prime suspect in the 1997 disappearance of Amy Wroe Bechtel. Bechtel’s disappearance has puzzled law enforcement and locals since her disappearance. Eaton reportedly told investigators that he was in the Wind River Mountain Range near the area where Bechtel disappeared from around the same time. Eaton received a death sentence for the kidnapping, rape and murder of Lisa Marie Kimmell near Casper in July 1989.