Wyoming news briefs for March 3

Three UW students killed in two-car collision

LARAMIE – Three people are dead following a two-car collision that occurred on Feb. 27 on the Colorado side of Highway 287, according to Colorado State Police Trooper Josh Lewis. 

A total of five people were involved. All five are reported to be or have been UW students. 

According to Lewis, the driver of a 2005 Subaru Forester, a male, 21, who was the only occupant, appeared to have lost control and the vehicle began spinning counter-clockwise, ultimately crossing over into the northbound lane, where the front passenger side of his vehicle struck the side of a 2013 Hyundai sedan. 

The collision was witnessed by three other UW students traveling in a third vehicle.

According to Lewis, drugs and alcohol were not suspected as being factors in the crash.

However, CSP is investigating whether speed and winter road conditions may have played a role. 

Two females, one aged 18, from Laramie, the other aged 19, from Texas, were pronounced dead at the scene, as was the driver of the Subaru. 

The 21-year-old male passenger who survived, Jackson Clough, was airlifted to the Medical Center of the Rockies, in Loveland, Colo. He is listed in fair condition.

The driver of the Hyundai, Elizabeth Howard, 18, was transported via ambulance to Poudre Valley Hospital, suffering minor injuries. 

The University of Wyoming students who died include the following: 

  • Sienna Potter, 18, a first-year student in early childhood education who has family in Laramie. 
  • Rebecca Marley, 19, a first-year student in marketing who has family in The Woodlands, Texas. 
  • William Malone, 21, a senior in computer science from Fort Collins. 


Pet adoptions increased during pandemic  

RAWLINS – During the past year, new pet owners have come to realize something long-time owners have known for years, their adopted loved ones help them cope with loneliness and isolation. 

Because of COVID-19, the pet industry has experienced a major sea change in the number of people seeking to adopt a pet. Retail stores, shelters and breeding facilities have reported a significant rise in the number of adoptions. 

Shelter Animals Count, which runs a database that tracks shelter and rescue activity, analyzed pet adoptions during the pandemic. The group tracks approximately 500 rescue organizations across the United States.

It recorded 26,000 more pet adoptions in 2020 than in 2019 — a rise of about 15 percent. 

Among those surveyed “4 Paws 4 Life” in Colorado nearly doubled the number of animals adopted during the first eight months of 2020, compared with a year earlier. Officials from Shelter Animals Count say that many people who adopted pets reported they needed “an emotional support animal” to survive the pandemic.

The rise in pet adoptions has become so extreme, the Washington Post and other news outlets have reported, that across the country there are shortages of animals to take home. Some shelters and rescue groups, the Post reported, are experiencing more than double the typical number of requests to adopt animals since the pandemic hit the United States. 

At “Homeward Bound Cat Adoptions” in Nevada, nearly 500 cats were adopted in the first eight months of 2020, compared to 200 during the same time one year before. 


Two killed, others hurt in car wreck near Riverton

RIVERTON – Two Fremont County residents died and two others were injured Friday morning in a one-vehicle rollover north of Riverton.

Janelle V. Warren, 25, of St. Stephen’s, and Kyle B. White, 30, of Fort Washakie, both died at the scene of the crash. 

The other vehicle occupants, Tristan L. Yellowplume, 27, of St. Stephen’s, and Redmoon S. Prior, 18, of Lander, both were transported to SageWest Health Care at Riverton for treatment of injuries sustained in the crash.

The Wyoming Highway Patrol has not yet determined who was driving the 2011 Kia Sorento which was traveling west on Wyoming Highway 134 when it crossed the center line and entered the eastbound lane. 

“The driver overcorrected to the right and back to the left before the car rolled over,” the WHP said in its report. “The vehicle rolled several times before coming to rest in the borrow ditch.” 

Speed is being investigated as a potential contributing factor in the crash. No vehicle occupants were wearing seatbelts, according to the WHP.