Tragedy has come to a Sheridan family, as a report issued from Sgt. Stephen Townsend of the Wyoming Highway Patrol in Cheyenne indicates that 17-year-old Katherine Owings and 16-year-old Jennifer Owings died as the result of a one-vehicle accident three miles west of Gillette Tuesday afternoon.
The report says that Katherine Owings, who was the driver of a 2004 Chevrolet Trailblazer, and Jennifer Owings, who was a passenger in the vehicle, were westbound on I-90. For unknown reasons, the report says, the Trailblazer drifted off the roadway on the left, going into the median.
Katherine Owings steered sharply to the right, at which time the vehicle came back up on the roadway. She then over-steered the vehicle to the left and it went into the median in a broadside slide, where it then rolled 2½ times.
Neither of the girls were wearing a seatbelt, and during the rollover, Katherine was totally ejected from the vehicle; Jennifer was partially ejected and died at the scene of the accident. Katherine died at 2:40 pm at the Campbell County Memorial Hospital in Gillette.
In a phone call to principal Dirleen Wheeler Wednesday afternoon, we learned that while neither girl attended Sheridan High School, they had many friends who do. Mrs. Wheeler said that they made a school-wide announcement this morning that counselors would be available in the Guidance Office should any student wish to talk or just have a quiet place to go. Wheeler added that the service was open to anyone in the community, not just SHS students.