SINCLAIR, Wyoming (AP) — The five young women killed in a head-on collision on a Wyoming highway were students and graduates of an Arkansas high school, school officials said Wednesday.
The five were heading home after visiting Jackson Hole Bible College in northwest Wyoming when they crashed on Interstate 80 in southern Wyoming Sunday night.
Salomonangel Olvera Correa, 21; Magdalene Rose Franco, 20; Ava Grace Luplow, 18; Emily Susana Prime, 18; Andrea Joanna Prime, 23, died at the scene, according to the Wyoming Highway Patrol.
Luplow and “Susie” Prime were students, and the rest 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.
Women were killed and others injured in crashes after 57-year-old Arthur A. Nelson was allegedly driving eastbound on I-80 westbound near Sinclair.
Investigators are charging Nelson with drunk driving and the charges are pending, said Wyoming Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt. Jeremy Beck said Wednesday.
Nelson was in custody in Carbon County, Wyoming and could not be contacted for comment. According to court officials, he did not yet have a list of his hometown or a lawyer.
Minutes after Highway Patrol received word that the driver had gone astray, Nelson’s Dodge Ram pickup truck crashed into a passenger and commercial truck on I-80 near Sinclair, authorities said.
A second commercial truck, trying to avoid an accident, crossed the median and crashed into a Ford F-150 with five women, causing both vehicles to catch fire, according to Highway Patrol.
Crashes about 140 miles (225 km) west of Cheyenne, Wyoming and 300 miles (480 km) east of Salt Lake City left others in critical condition. The traffic police did not report how many more victims.