A 20-year-old Wyoming woman is dead after crashing into an emergency vehicle stopped at a bus accident Tuesday.
Maria H Shyanne of Rock Springs, Wyo., attempted to brake at the last second, but slammed into a traffic-control vehicle responding to a burning passenger bus on Interstate 80 east of Point of Rocks Interchange. The collision closed the eastbound lanes of I-80 for four hours. Witnesses estimated Shyanne’s 1995 Toyota 4-Runner was traveling more than 80 mph, according to the Wyoming Highway Patrol.
Traffic was originally being diverted east of the interchange because of a passenger bus with a flat tire that caught fire on the edge of the interstate passing lane. The fire spread as occupants of the bus evacuated. Eventually the bus was fully engulfed.
State troopers were working the fire scene and state transportation workers were diverting traffic to the driving lane when the collision that killed Shyanne occurred.
A single-ton Department of Transportation vehicle was parked in the passing lane 1.5 miles up the road from the burning bus and a flagger was routing traffic into the driving lane. The transportation vehicle had its hazard lights flashing and an overhead arrow board activated to direct traffic to the right, according to the patrol. There was also an electronic warning sign further up road warning drivers of the hazard ahead.
Shyanne did not heed the warnings, according to the patrol. As the cars ahead of Shyanne’s 4-Runner diverted to the right lane, Shyanne continued ahead in the passing land until crashing into the transportation vehicle.
The flagger jumped clear of the collision. The traffic control vehicle was thrown in the medial and up against a cable barrier. Shyanne’s vehicle landed in the emergency lane and caught fire, the patrol said.
Driver inattention and excessive speed are believed causes of the fatal crash, the patrol said.