2 dead in July 18 multi-vehicle crash near Evanston

(Evanston, WY) – On July 18, 2021, a fatal crash occurred around milepost one on I-80 west of Evanston, Wyoming. At 2:00 p.m., Wyoming Highway Patrol (WHP) troopers were notified of a motor vehicle collision.

An SUV and a truck were stopped in traffic due to an earlier crash blocking the roadway. The driver of a second truck failed to see the stopped traffic and collided with the SUV, causing it to hit the back of the first truck.    

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The driver of the second truck has been identified as 29-year-old Greeley, Colorado resident Braylin Wertenberger. Wertenberger was not wearing his seatbelt and was transported to the Evanston Regional Hospital for injuries sustained in the crash. 

The passenger in the second truck been identified as 42-year-old Brighton, Colorado resident Mollie Wright. Wright was not wearing her seatbelt and was transported by helicopter to the University of Utah for injuries sustained in the crash.      

The driver of the SUV has been identified as 71-year-old Wolf Point, Montana resident William J. Baker. Baker was wearing a seatbelt and transported by helicopter to the University of Utah, where he later succumbed to his injuries sustained in the crash. 

The WHP report identified the juvenile passenger in the SUV as Wolf Point, Montana resident Scobey J. Baker. Baker was wearing a seatbelt and succumbed to injuries at the scene of the crash. 

The remaining passenger in the SUV has been identified as 19-year-old Wolf Point, Montana resident Kade Baker. He was transported to Evanston Regional Hospital for injuries sustained in the crash. 

The driver of the first truck has been identified as 36-year-old Bluffdale, Utah resident Rosario Ortiz Garcia. Ortiz Garcia was wearing a seatbelt and not injured in the crash.

The passengers in the first truck have been identified as 46-year-old West Valley, Utah resident Maria Lopez, and one juvenile passenger. They both were restrained correctly, and Lopez was transported to Evanston Regional Hospital for injuries sustained in the crash. 

Driver inattention and speed on the part of Wertenberger are being investigated as potential contributing factors.

These are the 53rd and 54th fatalities on Wyoming’s roadways in 2021 compared to 59 in 2020, 92 in 2019, and 56 in 2018 to date.   

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