Young man killed after pickup collides with beet truck

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A 20-year-old Powell area man died after his pickup collided with a beet truck on Tuesday morning near Ralston.

Ray L. Carpenter had been traveling east on U.S. Highway 14-A when he rear-ended the beet truck just before 6:50 a.m., according to information released by the Wyoming Highway Patrol and Park County Coroner Tim Power.

Carpenter’s truck “came up behind [the sugar beet truck] at a fast closing rate, showed no signs of braking” and struck the beet truck, said patrol Lt. Lee Pence.

The eastbound beet truck, being driven by an 85-year-old Cody man, was preparing to turn south into the beet dump outside of Ralston when the collision occurred.

Carpenter’s 1993 Mazda pickup hit the dual wheels of the 1979 International truck on the driver’s side, then rolled one-half times, coming to rest on its roof, Pence said.

Carpenter, who was not wearing his seatbelt, died at the scene. The driver of the sugar beet truck was wearing his lap belt and appeared to be uninjured, Pence said.

The incident remains under investigation.

It was the second rear-end crash involving a beet truck between Powell and Cody in the past month, Pence said.

“It is a good time for all of us to remember to drive defensively, minimize distractions in our vehicles, and pay attention to our surroundings when driving,” he said Tuesday. “The beet trucks are oftentimes traveling much slower than the posted 70 mph speed limit, so drive with due caution around them.”

The wreck was also the second fatal accident in the Powell area within a week. On Sept. 25, a 72-year-old Cowley man died when his truck rolled over on Lane 5, north of Powell.

Personnel from the Powell Police Department, Powell Volunteer Fire Department, Powell Valley Hospital, Park County Road and Bridge Department and Park County Sheriff’s Office assisted the Highway Patrol on the scene.

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