Arkansas school mourns 5 killed in Wyoming interstate crash

Jan 24, 2023, 11:34 PM | Updated: Jan 25, 2023, 1:45 pm

SINCLAIR, Wyoming (AP) — Five young women killed in a head-on crash on a Wyoming highway were Arkansas high school students and graduates, school officials said Wednesday.

The five were headed home from visiting Jackson Hole Bible College in northwestern Wyoming when they crashed Sunday evening on Interstate 80 in southern Wyoming,

Salomonanjel Olvera Correa, 21; Magdalene Rose Franco, 20; Ava Grace Luplow, 18; Emily Susana Prime, 18; and Andrea Joanna Prime, 23, died at the scene, according to the Wyoming Highway Patrol.

Luplow and “Suzy” Prime were students and the others were recent graduates of Sylvan Hills High School in the Little Rock suburb of Sherwood, Arkansas, Pulaski County School District spokeswoman Jessica Duff said in an emailed statement Wednesday.

The women were killed and others injured in crashes after Arthur A. Nelson, 57, allegedly drove eastbound in I-80’s westbound near Sinclair.

Investigators accuse Nelson of driving while impaired and charges were pending, Wyoming Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt. Jeremy Beck said Wednesday.

Nelson was in custody in Carbon County, Wyoming, and couldn’t be reached for comment. He had no listed hometown or attorney on file yet, according to court officials.

Minutes after the Highway Patrol got word of a wrong-way driver, the Dodge Ram pickup truck Nelson was driving hit a car and commercial truck on I-80 near Sinclair, authorities said.

A second commercial truck, in an attempt to avoid the wreck, then crossed the median and hit the Ford F-150 carrying the five women head on, engulfing both vehicles in flames, according to the Highway Patrol.

The crashes about 140 miles (225 kilometers) west of Cheyenne, Wyoming, and 300 miles (480 kilometers) east of Salt Lake City left others in critical condition. The Highway Patrol has not said how many others were injured.

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