Update on I-80 crash
by Wyoming Department of Transportation
March 25, 2010
The person killed in yesterday’s multi-vehicle pile-up on I-80 in south-central Wyoming has been identified as Valerie E. Rutstein, 40, of Rock Springs.
Rutstein was in a Ford Escape which was caught between two large tractor-trailer trucks during the crash, which occurred in the eastbound lanes near Rasmussen Road Interchange (exit 170), about three miles west of Wamsutter.
Nine other persons were injured and transported to Memorial Hospital of Carbon County in Rawlins. Seven of the injured persons were treated and released; the other two persons remained hospitalized today. One of the injured persons was a woman who had exited one of the crashed vehicles and was then struck by another vehicle.
Wyoming Highway Patrol troopers have today been continuing to investigate the crash, which consisted of seven distinct collisions involving 12 tractor-trailers, eight smaller vehicles (passenger cars or trucks), and one school bus.
No injuries were reported among the 10 passengers (two adults and eight students) in the bus, operated by Uinta School District No. 4.
The crash resulted in a lengthy closure of I-80 yesterday. Westbound lanes reopened mid-afternoon, while the eastbound lanes were not reopened until early evening.
Road damage signs have been placed on I-80 near the crash scene to alert motorists of damages caused by oil spilled from one of the crashed trucks. Repairs will be made after a contractor has been awarded the repair job.
Interstate 80 was icy and weather conditions at the time were foggy. There were approximately 21 vehicles involved in multiple crashes in this immediate area of eastbound Interstate 80. This particular crash involved seven (7) vehicles, one (1) pedestrian and sixteen (16) drivers and passengers. Vehicle #7 was a school bus and had 9 passengers aboard. None of the passengers in the school bus were injured.
Due to a previous crash vehicle two and vehicle four had stopped on the shoulder of the road. They were not involved in the crash they had stopped for. Vehicle seven was traveling in the left hand lane when vehicle five came up behind them and swerved to the right in an attempt to avoid colliding into the rear of vehicle seven. Vehicle five then struck the back of vehicle four that was parked on the side of the road. This sent vehicle four into the back of vehicle two which was also parked on the side of the road. Vehicle five’s trailer was sideways blocking the entire eastbound lanes of the Interstate at this point. Vehicle six came upon the crash and attempted to steer to the right on to the shoulder but struck vehicle five cab to cab. Vehicle one came upon the crash and went underneath the crossways trailer of vehicle five. Vehicle three came upon the crash and rear ended vehicle one and both vehicle one and vehicle three went through the trailer of vehicle five, cutting it in half. The broken half of vehicle five’s trailer spun down the highway striking a passenger from vehicle two who had exited her vehicle previously.
Both eastbound and westbound lanes of Interstate 80 were closed after the crash. Westbound lanes were closed to allow emergency vehicles to travel on the roadway since both eastbound lanes were blocked with multiple vehicles. The Interstate re-opened approximately 2:30 p.m. The driver of vehicle #3, Darby, has been cited for speed too fast for existing conditions. This crash remains under investigation and further citations may be issued.