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Two fatalities on U.S. 26

Posted: Wednesday, Dec 11th, 2013

PLATTE COUNTY Ė Two are dead following a two-vehicle accident on U.S. Highway 26 approximately 12 miles north of Wheatland on Saturday at 7:45 p.m.

Gary Johnson, 62, of Evansville and Brandi N. Taylor, 31, of Casper were pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Wyoming Highway Patrol.

Johnson reportedly was westbound on US 26 and Taylor was headed eastbound when Taylorís 1998 Chevrolet pickup crossed the centerline for reasons unknown. Authorities believe Johnson saw the vehicle coming into his lane and steered his 1999 Freightliner semi truck into the emergency lane in an attempt to avoid a collision; however, the vehicles collided head on, causing Taylorís vehicle to be pushed backward across the center line and blocking the eastbound lane.

WHP states that Taylorís truck, belonging to Sinclair Trucking Company, was carrying nearly 8,000 gallons of ethanol. The tank trailer became breeched during the crash, causing an unknown quantity of ethanol to leak onto the ground.

While Johnsonís truck was engulfed in flames and totally consumed, the ethanol did not catch fire.

WHP reported that the crash caused US 26 to be closed for approximately four hours.

The crash remains under investigation.

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