Wyoming news briefs for March 31

Man killed in wreck near Green River

GREEN RIVER — On March 25, a fatal crash occurred around milepost 93 on Interstate 80 east of Green River. 

At 2:24 p.m., Wyoming Highway Patrol troopers were notified of a one-vehicle rollover, according to a press release. 

Henry L. Cecil, a 50-year-old resident of Lacey, Washington, was driving a 1998 GMC C1500 and towing a trailer was headed west on Interstate 80 when the trailer began to fishtail, causing the Cecil to lose control of the vehicle, the release said. 

The vehicle entered the median before Cecil over-corrected to the right. The pickup truck exited the right side of the road and overturned. 

Cecil was wearing a seatbelt and succumbed to his injuries at the scene of the crash.

Speed and equipment failure are being investigated as potential contributing factors, according to the press release. 

This is the 20th fatality on Wyoming’s roadways in 2021 compared to 13 in 2020, 34 in 2019, and 19 in 2018 to date.


Arrested man reaches out to thank sheriff’s office

LARAMIE — It’s not every day that a person who gets arrested makes the effort to publicly thank the arresting law enforcement agency. 

But John Kelly felt compelled to do so after he says he received compassionate care from the Albany County Sheriff’s Office. 

“I am a terminally ill cancer patient. I was pulled over by the sheriff’s department and arrested for possession of cannabis and hemp products,” Kelly said. 

He said that he was diagnosed with Stage III liver cancer, and found that cannabis products were the only way to ease his cancer pain and chemo symptoms.

Kelly also said that he is a disabled combat veteran and has many family members who work in law enforcement. He knows that law enforcement agencies often have to take a lot of criticism while doing their job. 

Although he was arrested, he understood that the Sheriff’s department had a legal obligation to arrest him regardless of the circumstances.

“I wanted to commend them publicly,” Kelly said in a phone call with the Boomerang. 

While he was in holding at the Albany County Detention Center, he said he wasn’t sure he would have made it if it hadn’t been for the kindness and compassion of the deputies and the nurse who took care of him there.

It was important to thank them publicly.

“I didn’t think a thank you card was enough,” he said. 

So, he reached out to the Boomerang.

Neither Sheriff Appelhans nor the deputies could speak specifically about the matter because Kelly’s case had not yet been adjudicated.


Woman charged in slow-speed chase

DOUGLAS — A Douglas woman is facing numerous charges after allegedly trying to evade arrest in an 8-mph chase before backing into a patrol car and eventually slapping a police officer in February.

Now, a month later, she has been arrested again for breach of peace and felony assault on another police officer following an incident at a convenience store.

Guinnevere Paxton, 37, was bound over to state District Court Tuesday morning on the latest charges stemming from the March 21 breach of peace call at Broken Wheel Truck Stop.

According to court documents, Paxton was reportedly wielding keys and pepper spray, cussing and causing a disturbance when officer Rudy Toman and other officers attempted to arrest her.

She allegedly jabbed the keys into Toman’s face during the arrest. 

The latest case is on top of charges filed in February, and that case was bound over to District Court March 5.

Paxton was arrested Feb. 19 on Oak Street after allegedly driving a white SUV in the oncoming lane along Center Street, running a red light at the intersection of Center and 4th, then continuing in the oncoming lane.

As officer Ben Zwiebel attempted to pull Paxton over, she stopped in the middle of the road briefly but then drove off slowly. Paxton continued up Oak toward the rear gate of the cemetery at about 8 mph, the officer stated. 

About halfway down South 6th Street, Paxton backed into the patrol vehicle. 


Snow King expansion approved by forest

JACKSON — Snow King Mountain Resort now has a signed decision in hand authorizing the most extensive overhaul and expansion in the small ski area’s 82-year history.

Much of the construction work is just weeks or months away.

On Tuesday, in tandem with the Bridger-Teton National Forest releasing its decision approving Snow King’s lengthy list of planned buildings, new terrain and amenities, the ski area also publicized its 2021 construction plans.

The list runs long. Snow King will be installing a new eight-passenger gondola in place of the Summit Lift, a new four-person lift on the backside and a new 2-mile-long road that will run along a new alignment from town up to the mountain’s 7,808-foot summit.

Also planned for 2021 are a new beginner ski zone with two “magic carpet”-style conveyors, a 3,200-foot-long zip line, plus a new ski patrol and gondola maintenance building at the summit that’s a precursor to a restaurant. To make way for the gondola, the base of the Cougar lift will also be relocated upslope about 250 feet.

“It is anticipated that all of these improvements will be ready for the 2021-2022 winter season,” Snow King announced in a press release. “In order to get a timely start on projects the grooming team will be removing snow from mountain roads and the base of the mountain this week.”