CASPER, Wyo. — A Casper man remained jailed on a $15,000 bond Monday evening after authorities said he nearly struck a Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper’s vehicle head-on while driving drunk on U.S. Highway 20-26 this weekend.
Ross L. Alt is accused of traveling west in the eastbound lane of the highway with no headlights on a little after midnight Sunday morning. Prosecutors say the 44-year-old came within inches of striking the eastbound trooper, who was ultimately run off the road.
“We are very fortunate that no one is dead,” Assistant Natrona County District Attorney Joshua Stensaas said in court Monday afternoon.
After the near-collision, troopers located Alt traveling west on the highway in a Pontiac Grand Am. He continued traveling in the wrong lane “swerving in very sharp, jerky motions and speeding up and slowing down,” according to an arrest affidavit from the case.
He struck several delineator posts along the highway before finally stopping more than a mile from where he nearly hit the trooper, authorities say.
Troopers then handcuffed Alt, who they say appeared extremely intoxicated. The Pontiac he was driving had damage to its front end and its airbag had been deployed, authorities say.
Alt was transported to Wyoming Medical Center, where a blood sample was taken. When he was released about 2:40 p.m. Sunday, troopers arrested him for driving under the influence, reckless driving and eluding a police officer.
Troopers say an investigation determined that Alt, before nearly hitting the trooper, had struck a guardrail near a bridge along Highway 20-26. That collision knocked his license plate off (it was discovered near the wreck site) and knocked out his headlights, according to the affidavit.
He continued traveling the highway, troopers say, ultimately tearing down “approximately 200 feet of right-of-way fence and several steel posts” before being stopping after the near-collision with the trooper.
Prosecutors say this DUI charge could end up being Alt’s fourth. According to court documents, his last DUI arrest came in October.
A jury trial will be scheduled.