CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - A multiple vehicle crash triggered by a tractor-trailer that crossed the median closed I-80 in both directions about 20 miles west of Cheyenne Sunday.
The Wyoming Highway Patrol says the tractor-trailer driver lost control yesterday morning and that the rig ended up on its side at the Remount Interchange. The patrol says the semi-tractor was hanging over a bridge deck and was fully engulfed in flames.
The tractor trailer was hauling plastic bags and was consumed by fire as the truck tractor portion of the combination hung over the bridge deck. The driver of the combination, Steven W. Anderson, from Red Wing, Minnesota, suffered very minor injuries.
A subsequent crash on the westbound side of the Interstate involved three tractor trailer combinations and resulted in 4 people being transported to Cheyenne Regional Medical Center in Cheyenne for medical treatment.
As traffic slowed because of the fire and smoke from the first crash, a tractor trailer combination ran into the rear of another tractor trailer combination pushing all of them into the rear of a third tractor trailer combination.
The first combination unit in this crash was driven by 55 year-old Roman Kudakienicz from Woodstock, Ontario, Canada. He was pulling a van type trailer loaded with plastic. Roman was not injured.
The middle combination unit, which was hauling U.S. Mail, was driven by 58 year-old Boris T. Ofilov of Chicago, Illinois. Both he and his passenger, 41 year-old Nikolay Slavtchev, also of Chicago were treated and released from Cheyenne Regional Medical Center.
The rear most combination unit was hauling huge rolls of paper. That combination was driven by 47 year-old Mykhaylo Yukhnyuk of Rochester, New York. Yukhnyuk was flown by Life Flight helicopter from the scene to Cheyenne Regional Medical Center. His passenger was his wife, 32-year-old Vita Yukhnyuk, who was asleep in the tractor's sleeper at the time of the crash. Both were trapped in the wreckage for approximately 3 hours before being extricated and are currently hospitalized at Cheyenne Regional Medical Center.
Traffic charges are pending for Mykhaylo Yukhnyuk.
During the road closure on Interstate 80, all traffic was re-routed onto WYO 210 between Cheyenne and Laramie.
Both crashes remain under investigation.