WYOMING – More than 100 vehicles were involved in a series of chain reaction collision over the weekend on an interstate in Wyoming. As a result, three people died and dozens more were injured.
Law enforcement authorities said in a Monday news release that the crashes began around 3:39 p.m. Sunday around milepost 181 and 184 on Interstate 80 near the city of Rawlins, about 180 miles west of Cheyenne.
“Weather is reported to be a factor in these crashes,” according to the Wyoming Highway Patrol.
The 100-vehicle pileup, and another one nearby around the same time involving 40 vehicles, happened in severe snowy weather. A photo released on Monday showed wrecked tractor-trailers involved in the pileup still on the roadway.
Not only did vehicles pileup, but bodies amassed at local hospitals.
About 30 people were taken to the emergency room at Memorial Hospital of Carbon County in Rawlins, hospital spokeswoman Stephanie Hinkle told the Casper Star-Tribune.
Officials at the 25-bed hospital expected more injured people to arrive Monday. As a result, they summoned three extra doctors and set up a temporary patient holding area in the cafeteria.
The smaller pileup, on I-80 just 4 miles away from the larger pileup, injured at least seven people, including one person who was hospitalized in critical condition, Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Jason Mower said.
A video posted to YouTube by David Cuarezma showed the aftermath of the crash. In the video, the wreckage of semi-trucks and other debris can be seen on the roadway.
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
A 200-mile stretch of westbound I-80 from Laramie to Rock Springs remained closed until Tuesday, Fox News reported.
Travel throughout the region still remained difficult Tuesday morning as the Wyoming Department of Transportation said that “rolling closures” were in effect.
According to WYDOT, the rolling closures are designed to manage the impact of stranded travelers in small towns along the route with “limited resources in terms of parking, fuel, hotel rooms and other amenities.”
“When a town is at capacity, which can happen during a long-duration closure, the closure will be rolled back to the next town to avoid stranding travelers in a location without adequate services,” WYDOT said.