LARAMIE, Wyo. — Officials on Thursday identified a Utah man who died after a semitruck hit the back of his car, pushing him into a stopped semitruck on I-80 in Wyoming last week.
On Saturday, March 9 around 9:20 a.m., a semitruck traveling westbound on Interstate 80 just east of Laramie, Wyoming stopped in the road due to traffic ahead on the interstate, according to the Wyoming Highway Patrol in a Facebook post. Brook N. Williams, 48, of Salt Lake City, was driving in a 2018 Hyundai Kona with 47-year-old Melanie Williams, also of Salt Lake City. Their Hyundai stopped behind the first semitruck, according to police.
Another semitruck came up behind their car but didn't have enough time to fully stop and collided with their car, pushing it into the first semitruck, police said. Shortly after the crash, a third semitruck slammed into the second one, police said.
Brook and Melanie Williams were wearing their seatbelts. Brook Williams died from his injuries at the scene of the crash, officials said. Melanie Williams was transported to a local hospital for her injuries.
The three drivers of the semitrucks were all wearing their seatbelts and did not get injured, according to police. Passengers in the second and third semitrucks also did not sustain any injuries.
Investigators believe speed and winter conditions contributed to the crash. A winter storm dropped about 2 inches of snow the night before, contributing to dangerous road conditions. The roads had black ice and winds were blowing snow making visibility low, WHP said. Shortly after the crash, officials closed I-80 from Rawlins to Cheyenne due to weather conditions and didn't open up the interstate until later that evening.
Wyoming has had an increase in road fatalities, with 28 deaths already for 2019, WHP said. Three Utahns died on March 7 in a crash on I-80 near Evanston, Wyoming. There were only 12 deaths in 2018, 14 deaths in 2017 and only 10 deaths in 2016, according to WHP.