Truck Driver Arrested in Fatal Crash on I-80
A two vehicle crash Sunday has resulted in the death of 61 year old John E. Valyou of Columbus, Montana.
The crash occurred at 10:15 a.m. near the summit at mile post 317.50 on Interstate 80 westbound or approximately one mile east of Laramie.
Mr. Valyou was riding his motorcycle westbound on I-80 in the left lane and wearing a helmet. A tractor-trailer combination, driven by 59 year old Thomas D. Vannest of Pequot Lakes, Minnesota, was also westbound. At mile post 317.50, the two vehicles made contact with each other causing fatal injuries to Mr. Valyou on scene.
Authorities eventually arrested Mr. Vannest 29 miles down the road from the crash scene. Vannest did not stop after the crash and proceeded west. Through witness statements, Laramie troopers were able to relay Vannest's vehicle description to Elk Mountain troopers.
Vannest was taken to the Albany County Detention Center in Laramie and has been charged with careless driving, failure to report a crash and failing to maintain a single lane of travel. Additional charges are pending.
Distracted driving, careless driving and speed are being investigated as contributing factors in this crash.
Mr. Valyou is the 55th highway fatality in Wyoming for 2015. There were 58 fatalities during this same time period in 2014.
Information from the Wyoming Highway Patrol