1 Killed, 1 Injured After Van Rear-Ends Penske Truck on I-80
A woman was killed and another injured after a van rear-ended a Penske truck on Interstate 80 Sunday afternoon, according to the Wyoming Highway Patrol.
The crash happened around 12:55 p.m. near milepost 110.5, just east of Rock Springs.
Sgt. Jeremy Beck says 53-year-old California resident Lucille Hopkins was driving eastbound and was approaching an area of I-80 that had recently closed due to winter conditions when she failed to notice traffic was being detoured to an exit and rear-ended a slow-moving Penske truck.
Hopkins was wearing her seat belt and was taken to Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County where she was treated and released. Her passenger, 79-year-old Mary Gallego of Sacramento, California, was not buckled up and died at the scene.
The driver of the Penske truck, 27-year-old Colorado resident Anthony J. Montelongo Hewitt, was buckled up and was not injured in the crash.
"We always have the folks that say that seat belts don't save lives, but they do," said Beck. "It's shown over and over, when folks are involved in a serious collision and they're wearing their seat belt they're more than likely going to sustain less of an injury."
Beck says I-80 was icy and snow-covered from blowing snow at the time of the crash.
Speed and driver inattention on the part of Hopkins are being investigated as possible contributing factors.