JACKSON HOLE, WYO – Buckrail has learned more about the early morning accident on US 89 in the Snake River Canyon that snarled traffic for a few hours and resulted in one fatality.
Wyoming Highway Patrol was dispatched to the scene near milepost 120 at 5:30am on September 12 for a single-vehicle rollover incident.
A 1997 Subaru Outback (green) was traveling southbound on US 89. For reasons unknown, the Subaru drifted off the north shoulder of the roadway and struck a rock embankment. The Subaru then vaulted and rolled once before coming to a rest on the vehicle’s wheels on the north side of the highway. During the rollover, both occupants, who were unrestrained by seatbelts, were ejected from the vehicle.
The driver was pronounced deceased at the scene of the crash. A female passenger was transported via ambulance to the Star Valley Medical Center with reported minor injuries. According to an eyewitness, the driver of the Subaru had just completed a pass of a semi tractor-trailer and immediately began fishtailing. It is not believed the two vehicles had struck one another.
The driver of the Subaru been identified as 45-year-old Dillon, Montana resident James Watters. A witness said he appeared to have suffered a traumatic brain injury and began seizing and showing signs of flexion shortly after being ejected. The female had two broken ribs and a laceration to the head.
This is the 103rd fatality on Wyoming’s highways in 2017 compared to 83 in 2016, 111 in 2015, and 107 in 2014 to date.