Five Killed in Crash with Commercial Truck on I-80 near Rawlins, WY
Rawlins, WY — January 22, 2023, five young adults from Sylvan Hills, AR were killed in a collision with a commercial truck on Interstate 80 near Rawlins.
Authorities say the incident happened around 7:00 p.m. on I-80 near mile marker 219, east of town. Preliminary investigation suggests a Dodge Ram 3500 pickup truck was traveling east in the highway's westbound lanes, against traffic, when it collided with a car and a commercial truck.
A second commercial truck swerved into the median to avoid the oncoming pickup, but entered the eastbound travel lanes. It then crashed head-on with the victims' Ford F-150, after which both vehicles caught fire.
The Ford's five occupants were fatally injured in the crash. An unknown number of other people involved in the accident were transported to area hospitals with various injuries, some of them critical.
The wrong-way driver was reportedly arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. Other charges may be pending.
The investigation is ongoing. No further information is currently available.
If preliminary reports have their details more or less correct, this appears to be a complex multi-part accident that more than warrants a full and thorough investigation. I don't expect much pushback when I say the loss of five young lives is more than enough reason to look carefully and determine not only exactly what happened, but also how and why.
That's not to suggest that police would do anything less than their best, but people don't always realize that some departments don't have the resources or time to specially train their officers in forensic crash investigation. In some cases that means crucial details slip through the cracks, especially as the complexities of an accident increase due to the number of people and vehicles involved.
All I'm saying is that it's important to learn the whole story of this accident, from beginning to end. I'd imagine those young folks' families have many urgent questions, and ensuring they get answers should be a top priority. I just hope authorities' efforts will help bring them some closure.