According to the Wyoming Highway Patrol, Darion Wheeler, 18 of Lander, Paul McEwan, 20 of Greybull, and Destinee Wheeler, 15 of Hudson, all suffered fatal injuries in a crash that occurred the evening of March 14th on WY 789 approximately two miles north of Lander.
According to WHP, all three of the fatalities were traveling together northbound in a 2003 Honda Pilot SUV that was being driven by Darion Wheeler. The SUV failed to properly negotiate a left-hand curve in the highway as the vehicle drifted to the east. Wheeler overcorrected the SUV sending the SUV into a counter-clockwise spin. During the spin, the SUV entered the southbound lanes of WY-789 and collided with a southbound 1993 Chevrolet Silverado. The Silverado was driven by 42 year old Riverton, Wyoming resident Brian Rhodes.
Darion Wheeler was wearing his seat belt and was not ejected. Paul McEwan, Destinee Wheeler, and Brian Rhodes were not wearing seat belts at the time of the crash and were not ejected.
Brian Rhodes was initially taken by ground ambulance to SageWest Hospital in Lander and was hospitalized for his injuries.
Excessive speed and driver inattention are being investigated as the contributing factors in this crash that marked the 16th, 17th, and 18th highway fatalities in Wyoming for 2017. There were 10 fatalities during this same time period in 2016.