Victims of WYO 130 Washout Identified, Father is Only Survivor
A mother and her three daughters were the victims of a fatal crash caused by the washout on Snowy Range Road (WYO 130). Authorities say the Constantinides family had been evacuated from the North Brush Creek Campground because of flash flooding early Tuesday morning and were headed eastbound on WYO 130 when their vehicle was washed 75 yards downstream in Brush Creek. Alex Constantinides, the father of the Colorado Springs, Colo. family, was the only one to survive according to the Wyoming Highway Patrol.
Alex was able to climb out of the family’s white VW van and onto a brush pile. He made his way 30 yards upstream to a Carbon County Emergency Management vehicle which had also been washed downstream. Authorities say John Zeiger was helped out of the Dodge Durango by Alex and an unknown passerby. Zeiger had responded to assist in evacuating the camp grounds before encountering the washed out road.
Carbon County authorities advised the Constantinides to leave their camp spot around midnight following heavy rain in the Ryan Park area which began around 7 p.m. Monday night. The National Weather Service recorded “Thunderstorms moved over the Snowy Range of southeast Wyoming in the late evening of July 18 through early morning of July 19, 2011. A storm moved across the Brush Creek area on Highway 130, west of Centennial between 9 PM and midnight with the heavier rainfall falling between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. This storm produced rainfall rates of one half to one inch per hour during that time, with Doppler radar estimated between 1.00 and 1.25 inches which mainly fell between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m.”
Troopers estimate the Constantinides drove into the washed out portion of the roadway between 1:15 a.m. and 1:40 a.m. WYDOT has attributed the washout to debris from torrential rain clogging the drainage culvert and causing the water to wash away the pavement around the culvert. When the water subsided Troopers were able to measure the washout at approximately 25 to 30 feet wide and 9 feet deep. The road remains closed between mile posts 36 and 68.
The Constantinides were all properly restrained in their vehicle. Laurel was 39, Hanna was 8, Zoey was 5 and Lucia was 2.
The Wyoming Highway Patrol was assisted in response to the flash flood and crash rescue by the Encampment/Riverside Fire Department, Saratoga Fire Department, Ryan Park Fire Department, Albany County Fire District, Albany County Sheriff’s Department and Carbon County Sheriff’s Department.