(Midvale, Wyo.) – Wyoming Department of Transportation snowplow driver Joel Sherman of Shoshoni was at work on Wyoming Highway 134 this morning west of Midvale and as the first light of morning was breaking, he spotted a pickup out in an open area of the Ocean Lake Wildlfe Management Area. “I was thinking that truck shouldn’t be way out there, there’s no parking,” Sherman said. That’s when he saw the skid marks, a downed fence, some debris in a field and noticed the passenger side of the late model Ford pickup was crunched.  “I was afraid what I would find when I got out there, but he (the driver) came out from under a blanket and was okay. Seat belts save lives,” he said. “This is a good day.”

With the nearest Wyoming State Trooper up near Dubois, the Fremont County Sheriff’s Department took the call and  Arnie Zertuche was the first deputy on the scene around 8 a.m. “Apparently this happened around 3 a.m. this morning, and he tried to drive out, but backed into another ditch,” the deputy said. That was the reason the truck was so far away from where it had left the highway.

Another bright spot was the man’s dog, who also survived the crash. The two were under the blanket keeping each other warm while waiting for daybreak and help.

A report on the crash is not yet available, nor was the driver’s identity. Zertuche had the driver in his patrol vehicle to get those details. The driver had originally apparently drifted off of the right side of the road, overcorrected, crossed the two driving lanes onto the left shoulder, then swerved back onto the highway. The truck began to slide, hit the barrow ditch and rolled when it crashed into a drainage ditch behind the fence. The fact the barrow ditch was slick with snow meant the pickup did not roll until it hit the ditch.

WYDOT Snowplow Operator Joel Sherman discovered the crash at daybreak Friday. (Ernie Over photo)

WYDOT Snowplow Operator Joel Sherman, in the cab of the plow, discovered the crash at daybreak Friday. The driver’s dog, who also survived the crash, is visible in the truck’s bed. (Ernie Over photo)

Skid marks where the vehicle left the highway. The truck is at center right. (Ernie Over photo

Skid marks where the vehicle left the highway and struck a ditch. The driver tried to drive out of the field, but backed into another ditch. (Ernie Over photo