Colorado woman was victim in this morning’s fatal crash; Driver fatigue a possible cause

UPDATE: Fremont County Ambulance’s Todd Smith said the responding ambulance took 33 minutes to make a 50 mile trip to the scene, not the hour and a half reported by Jimmie Bryan. According to Smith’s records, the ambulance was dispatched at 4:18:31 a.m. and arrived at 4:51:21 a.m.

(Moneta, Wyo.) – The Wyoming Highway Patrol is investigating driver fatigue as the possible cause of this morning’s fatal crash east of Shoshoni. WHP Lt. Tom Adams said Cheryl Rapue, 29, of Wiggins, Colo., was the driver of the westbound United States Postal Service contracted mail truck.

Rapue’s truck reportedly went off the right side of Highway 20/26 for unknown reasons at about 4 a.m.. Adams said the investigation showed she over-corrected to the left, causing the truck to go off the road and rolling one and one-quarter times. She was ejected from the vehicle; seatbelt usage is unknown at this time.

While driver fatigue is a possible cause of the crash, Adams said no one will never know exactly what happened. Rapue was the only occupant.

Adams said Rapue was transported to SageWest – Riverton and passed away there shortly after 8 a.m.

USPS Communication Office spokesperson David Rupert in Denver confirmed that is was “one of our over-the-road contract drivers on the Casper to Shoshoni route.” He said all of the mail at the scene had been recovered. The truck was en route to Worland.

A man named Jimmie Bryan has commented on Oil City, saying he was the first to find her. He said help did not arrive on scene for an hour and a half. Adams was unable to confirm when the first responders got to the scene.

Read the initial report on the crash here.

32 Comments

  1. Amy Miller

    Oh how sad

  2. Kit Collings

    Driver was Cheryl Rapue, 29, of Wiggins, Colo., was the driver of the westbound United States Postal Service contracted mail truck.

  3. Sandra Beydler

    An hour and a half? That can't be right!?!?

  4. Leanna LaFleur

    What a sad day:( I know Cheryl and this is very tragic

  5. Michael Wright

    My heart goes out to her family and friends what a tragic day

  6. Ron Harvey

    My wife helped in the cleanup, what a sad day. Mail was scattered and dirty. Please don't be upset when your mail shows up late and possibly dirty. This was a dedicated driver and did a great job very sad that she lost her life. Everyone be careful driving out there.

  7. John Worrall

    How is your wife? Those things can be pretty traumatic for the first responders.

  8. Ron Harvey

    John Worrall She's my rock, doing good, thanks for asking.

  9. Connie Petrich Shaw

    Cheryl worked for USPS for several years. Sad deal.

  10. John Houseman

    Yes, Sandy… that is far too long for a dispatch to get an ambulance out there that early in the a.m…. yet our current man in charge is suggesting we 'privatize' our County ambulance service… that would make it even slower!!!!

  11. John Houseman

    The condition of the mail is NOT a major concern here… what IS… is why did it take an hour and a half to get an ambulance on the spot????

  12. Todd Smith

    For the record the Ambulance took 33 minutes to arrive on scene from going en-route, approx 50 miles. The call was immediately dispatched when received and collecting the needed information to get EMS and Fire to the scene

  13. County 10

    UPDATE: Fremont County Ambulance's Todd Smith said the responding ambulance took 33 minutes to make a 50 mile trip to the scene, not the hour and a half reported by Jimmie Bryan. According to Smith's records, the ambulance was dispatched at 4:18:31 a.m. and arrived at 4:51:21 a.m.

  14. Crystal Berryman

    Ron, I've known you and your wife for a long time..she's a very strong woman, with a very kind heart. I'm so sorry she had to experience going thru that situation. You do what you have to do to help. My prayers are with her. I know what my sons go thru after they are called out on a fire call, it pulls at their hearts when they have loss someone. Our hearts go out to the family who lost their Cheryl Rapue. Their nightmare is just beginning. No one should be worried about their mail. It should be the least of our worries. A person has lost their life, leaving their family to grief. I'm so very sorry for the families loss. My thoughts and prayers are with the family of Cheryl Rapue. Chris

  15. Missy Miller

    yes, this is a very tragic accident,but what about the driver of the other truck?

  16. Sybil Keeler

    I hope you got the mail I sent yesterday. There should have been 2 envelopes, 1 white 1 dark yellow. Let me know.

  17. Cathie Christie

    There was no other truck. It was a single vehicle accident. It might be confusing the way things are reported.

  18. Lori Herrud-Morrow

    Todd,
    Thanks for your information. You did all you could to help this woman. Whenever a fatality occurs your crew struggles. Thank you for continuing to do your job!

  19. Releasda Kraken

    Sometimes you have to just question the journalistic credibility of County 10. I have been noticing that County 10 goes more for sensationalism than actual reporting. Wouldn't be surprized if one day they reported that Prince William has a drug addiction and that Angelina Jolie hasn't eaten anything since she sold her last adopted kid.

  20. Susan Hall-McQuistan

    John Houseman If you read the information correctly you would realize that it DID NOT

  21. Glen Jesmer

    Cheryl was a great friend we will miss her smile

  22. Ada Maxon

    I believes Jimmy and Mr Abbott about the time. The ambulance want to not look bad or have any repercussions.
    Cheryl was a great person. Always there to help anyone. She is truly going to be missed. We love you Cheryl and RIP. You are our special angel.

  23. Carla Marie Mowell

    I noticed my mail, including the inside of envelopes, was covered in a fine sand. I asked my "post office lady" and she said that the driver had been killed in a crash. I'm glad I was just asking, not complaining. So sad! Mail is one of those things that just magically appears and we don't think about it much, yet it touches so many hands and lives before it gets to us. Reminder. Life is so fragile. Don't sweat the small stuff.

  24. Heather Farnes

    Mr. Smith, I would like you to know that Jimmie Bryan went back and left a second detailed comment on Oil City News's article on this accident about how he was with Cheryl for an hour and a half (form the time he found her until she was loaded onto the ambulance) and that it did not take an hour and a half for first responders to arrive. His comment was taken out of context and he immediately went back to correct it once he was home from work. He was in no way trying to make the first responders look bad, he just wanted people to know that she wasn't alone and that he did everything he could to help her. I hope this clears up the confusion. I am his fiancée and have seen first hand how this has affected him. He did not know her but did all could to help her. He covered her with his coat to keep her warm, talked with her to keep her awake, and even assisted paramedics in trying to save her. His coat left with her on the ambulance and even though his work route for the day was taking him up through Dubois and Jackson, where it was snowing, he did not care about that coat. All was concerned with was Cheryl. It broke my heart when I had to tell him that she did not make it and it completely devastated him. Cheryl and her family is all he has been able to think about since the accident. He's been looking for her family so he can talk with them. He knows he cannot take away the pain of their loss but he just wants them to know that she wasn't alone and was with someone who cared, even though he was a stranger. If anyone could help us bring them together it would be so greatly appreciated. Whether it's through a phone call, Facebook message, or e-mail…..anything would be of great help. I tagged Jimmie in this post so you can contact him that way or you may contact me as well. It means the world to him to find her family and I hope someone can help us make that happen. Thank you very much for reading this and for any help we may receive.

  25. Heather Farnes

    Hello Leanna. My name is Heather Farnes. Could I please ask you to read my comment above (under Todd Smith's comment)? Jimmie Bryan is my fiancee, he was the one who found Cheryl, and he is trying to contact her family. I see that you knew Cheryl but was not sure if you knew her family as well. If you would please read my comment and let me know I would appreciate it greatly. I do apologize if this comes across as strange or odd. I am just trying to help my finacee find closure by helping to find her family. Thank you so much for your time and for reading this.

  26. Heather Farnes

    I have posted a comment on Todd Smith's post in regards to Jimmie Bryan's portrayed comments about the arrival time of first responders. I hope you will please take the time to read it and correct things accordingly. Thank you.

  27. Leanna LaFleur

    No Heather Farnes I don't know her family other than they live in Colorado . I just knew Cheryl and she will be missed!

  28. Karol Kopetzky

    Heather,
    My family is from Wiggins and our daughters grew up with the Rapue girls. If you are still needing help getting in touch with the family, please let me know and we can help you out.
    We lost a very close friend a couple of years ago in a motorcycle/moving vehicle accident and the circumstances are so similar…..someone arrived on scene and was with him before he passed. It was so important for his wife and family to be able to visit with the person that was their comforting him. I know it meant the world to them and it would be very important for both your fiance and Cheryl's family to be in contact.
    Our prayers go out to all of you and we thank God that your fiance was with Cheryl when she needed him most.

  29. LaVon Pilkington Brookhart

    Thank you all for prayers. This is a hard time for our family. Thanks to Jimmie for staying and helping my cousin. It is good to know that there are still good and willing people out there. May God Bless you!!

  30. LaVon Pilkington Brookhart

    Didn't realize this would post. This is a cousin on my mom's side. The Morrison group.

  31. Rose Greenwood

    So sorry

  32. Jennifer Keating

    Heather Farnes Please contact LaVon Pilkington Brookhart, she is my family and this was her cousin.

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