Posted by Jade Cunningham
Interstate 80 eastbound from Laramie to Cheyenne was closed for nearly eight hours Friday after a fatal early morning crash involving two tractor-trailers.
Around 5:40a.m. Friday, Wyoming Highway Patrol received a call about a crash involving two semi's.
"This is something we deal with on a regular basis, motor vehicle accidents on the interstates. It's not too common where some with this much fire and explosion to it," said Trooper McKay.
Two tractor-trailers, both with full loads, were headed eastbound on I-80, near Buford, when tragedy struck.
"CRST was traveling around five miles per hour in the driving lane, and the FCC pickup or semi-truck ran into the back of CRST."
State Trooper Troy Marrs says 51-year-old Welton Searight claims he was driving so slow because he was disoriented and thought he was driving uphill. As a result, he was in a low gear.
The other semi driven by 48-year-old Jerry Roberts, reportedly was going around 65mph.
Because Searight was going so slow, Roberts rear ended Searight's truck, causing both loads to scatter over the roadway, and killing Roberts and his dog on impact.
"We have one confirmed fatality, the FCC driver, and there's possible injuries of the CRST."
With one semi engulfed in flames, fire crews from Cheyenne, Albany County and the Air Force Base were on scene fighting the fire.
"Thanks to WYDOT staff we were able to get the road closed in a timely manner, and get all vehicles cleared out of here."
The driver of the first semi (Searight) was treated and released at Ivinson Memorial Hospital.
It was also later reported another passenger was in the truck with Searight.
40-year-old Otis B. Willson from Michigan was in the sleeper when the accident happened. He refused treatment.
Trooper Marrs says the crash in a preliminary investigation, but CRST Trucking will not give permission to the Wyoming Highway Patrol to look at the black box recorder in Searight's truck.
Wyoming Highway Patrol must get a subpoena before the investigation can move forward.