A crash near Walcott Junction between Laramie and Rawlins in the early morning hours on Friday, August 15 resulted in one fatality. The two vehicle crash occurred at about 1:40 a.m. around 14 miles east of Walcott Junction at mile marker 249 on Interstate 80.

According to the Wyoming Highway Patrol, a 1997 Dodge van driven by 35-year-old Peter J. Bernardini of Chicago, Ill. was traveling westbound in front of a 2008 Volvo tractor towing a semi-trailer. The semi was being driven by 57-year-old Aleksandr Barabin from Portland, Ore.

For an unknown reason, the semi struck the van from behind.  The collision caused the van to spin out of control, leave the road, and roll several times. It then came to rest on its tires facing east. Barabin pulled off the road and stopped several hundred feet from where the crash occurred.

Bernardini was transported by helicopter to the Wyoming Medical Center in Casper. Bernardini died from his injuries on August 20.

A 28-year old passenger in the van, Ethan Jones also from Chicago, was transported to the Carbon County Hospital by ambulance after the crash.

According to the Wyoming Highway Patrol, driver fatigue by Barabin is being investigated as the contributing factor in the crash. Barabin has been charged with reckless driving, following too close and for a violation of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Rules for an hours of service violation.


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