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Drug Use Suspected in Crash Near Casper That Killed Wyoming Man, Injured Truck Driver

Alex-Schmidt, Thinkstock
Alex-Schmidt, Thinkstock

Drug use may have contributed to a crash that killed a 65-year-old Wyoming man and injured the driver of a commercial truck Sunday night on a highway near Casper.

John Romero was driving a Mercury Cougar westbound on Highway 220 near milepost 78 at about 9 p.m. Sunday when, for unknown reasons, the Mercury crossed the centerline and hit an eastbound commercial truck head-on.

After the collision, the Mercury spun off the west side of the highway and came to rest, according to a report from the Wyoming Highway Patrol. Romero died, despite wearing a seatbelt.

The commercial truck continued eastbound without its steer axle, coming to rest on the east side of the roadway. Following the crash, engine oil and fuel from the semi-truck caught fire, igniting both oil on the highway and grass on the shoulder.

Quick-thinking witnesses put out the blaze, with one using a fire extinguisher to control the flames which trapped the truck driver in his cab.

The Patrol says Romero may have been under the influence of an unspecified controlled substance at the time of the crash.

Driver inattention is listed as a contributing factor in the crash.

The road was dry at the time of the crash, though weather conditions were listed as cloudy or overcast.

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