Wyoming news briefs for July 20


Simpson recovering after fall and surgery

CODY — The former U.S. Sen. Al Simpson is recovering from a fall he took in California last week, requiring a partial hip replacement and surgery.

His son, Colin Simpson, confirmed that the fall took place on Thursday. 

Simpson said when his father fell, he suffered a femoral neck fracture at the head of the femur and under the ball of the hip joint. According to the The National Center for Biotechnology Information, femoral neck fractures are a specific type of intracapsular hip fracture.

Al Simpson only needed a partial hip replacement on about "half" of the hip, to replace the ball of the hip joint, Colin Simpson said. 

He said his father is working hard in physically therapy in order to regain the necessary strength to return to Cody, which should happen in about "1-2 weeks," Colin Simpson estimated.

"He's doing well other than having to get a new hip," he said.

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Gas prices rise 4.2 cents in past week

CHEYENNE — Wyoming gasoline prices have risen 4.2 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.40 per gallon Monday, according to GasBuddy.com's daily survey of 494 stations in Wyoming.

Gas prices in Wyoming are 26.9 cents per gallon higher than a month ago, and stand $1.26 per gallon higher than a year ago.

According to GasBuddy price reports, the cheapest station in Wyoming was priced at $2.89 per gallon Monday, while the most expensive was $4.05, a difference of $1.16 per gallon.

The national average price of gasoline has risen 1.3 cents per gallon in the last week, averaging $3.16 per gallon Monday. The national average is up 10.2 cents per gallon from a month ago, and stands 98 cents per gallon higher than a year ago.

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Two dead in wreck near Evanston

EVANSTON — A man and boy are dead after another man drove his pickup into vehicles that were stopped for a previous accident on Interstate 80 near Evanston on Sunday, July 18, according to the Wyoming Highway Patrol. 

The fatal crash occurred around milepost 1 on Interstate 80, just west of Evanston. 

According to patrol reports, a 2002 Toyota RAV-4 and 2013 Ford F-150 were stopped in traffic due to an earlier crash blocking the roadway. The driver of a 2018 GMC Sierra failed to see the stopped traffic and collided with the Toyota, causing the Toyota to hit the back of the Ford. 

The driver of the GMC has been identified as 29-year-old Greeley, Colorado, resident Braylin Wertenberger. Wertenberger was not wearing his seatbelt and was transported to the Evanston Regional Hospital for injuries sustained in the crash. 

The driver of the Toyota has been identified as 71-year-old Wolf Point, Montana, resident William J. Baker. Baker was wearing a seatbelt and transported by helicopter to the University of Utah, where he later succumbed to his injuries sustained in the crash. 

The juvenile passenger in the vehicle has been identified as Wolf Point, Montana, resident Scobey J. Baker. He was wearing a seatbelt and succumbed to injuries at the scene of the crash. 

Driver inattention and speed on the part of Wertenberger are being investigated as potential contributing factors.

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Grizzly bear moved after killing cattle

POWELL — A grizzly bear was captured north of Pinedale on Wednesday and relocated to an area about 5 miles from the East Entrance of Yellowstone National Park. 

The adult male was targeted after it killed cattle on a U.S. Forest Service grazing allotment north of Pinedale in the Bridger-Teton National Forest. 

Officials with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and the Forest Service decided the bear should be relocated to the Five Mile Drainage within the Shoshone National Forest. 

Game and Fish attempts to capture bears when other options are exhausted or unattainable.

“Grizzly bear relocation is a management tool afforded to large carnivore biologists to minimize conflicts between humans and grizzly bears and is critical to the management of the population,” Game and Fish reported in a press release Friday. 

Once captured, all circumstances are taken into account when determining if the animal should be relocated or removed (euthanized or moved to a facility out of the ecosystem). Bears deemed an immediate threat to human safety are not released back into the wild. 

“When relocation is warranted, the selection of a relocation site is determined taking into consideration the age, sex, and type of conflict the bear was involved in as well as potential human activity in the vicinity of the relocation site,” the Game and Fish said. “This particular site was chosen due to the lack of human presence.” 

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Cody man killed in motorcycle wreck

CODY — A Cody man on a motorcycle was killed Friday evening on the South Fork after being rear-ended by a car driven by a local teen.

Daniel Tudor, 61, was killed in the crash. 

Wyoming Highway Patrol Lt. Lee Pence said the setting sun is being considered as a contributing factor in the crash. According to the accident report, Cody resident Megan McCann, 18, was driving west into the sun on WYO 291 in her Mazda and failed to see the stopped Harley Davidson.

At about 8 p.m. the Mazda collided with the back of the Harley, causing the motorcycle driver to be thrown from the bike.  

Tudor was not wearing a helmet and succumbed to his injuries at the scene of the crash. McCann was wearing a seatbelt and not injured.

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