Three people were killed in a head-on crash between Meeteetse and Thermopolis on Tuesday afternoon, including a Northwest College student.
Kolten S. Moss, 18, of Laramie, and Ib R. Jensen, 75, and Elsebeth F. Jensen, 72, both of Cannes, France, died at the scene of the crash at 12:10 p.m., according to the Wyoming Highway Patrol.
Moss was a freshman at NWC, where he competed on the Trapper rodeo team.
“Our rodeo family is devastated by this news,” NWC Rodeo Coach Del Nose wrote in a campus-wide email. “Kolten was an exceptional person, we will miss him greatly.”
President Stefani Hicswa said Wednesday that the entire NWC community “is deeply saddened by this loss.”
“We express our deepest sympathies to Kolten’s family,” she said.
Moss had “turned in his gear and was headed home to Laramie for the summer,” Hicswa said.
Moss was traveling south on Wyo. Highway 120 in a 2003 Dodge Ram pickup when his vehicle crossed the center line and the other lane of travel.
“He was all the way almost off the road to his left while he was traveling southeast bound, and then all of a sudden he overcorrected and went back into the northwest-bound lane and collided with oncoming traffic,” said Highway Patrol Lt. Erin DeVries.
Ib R. Jensen was driving a 2019 Winnebago Outlook northbound when Moss’ Dodge entered into his lane of travel.
“The vehicle collided head-on, which resulted in both becoming fully engulfed in flames,” Highway Patrol Sgt. Kyle P. McKay wrote in a news release.
The crash occurred on Wyo. Highway 120, roughly 26 miles south of Meeteetse and 26 miles north of Thermopolis.
The road was shut down for about five hours following the wreck and the fire damaged the asphalt, DeVries said
The patrol said it’s investigating possible factors in the crash.
“We found alcohol containers on the scene,” DeVries said Wednesday. “Obviously, at this point there’s no way we can tell whether or not it was alcohol, fatigue or distracted driving.”
Witnesses said the Dodge had been swerving before the collision, according to the Highway Patrol’s accident report.
The multi-fatality wreck was “one of the worst I’ve seen up here,” DeVries said.