Wyoming news briefs September 10


Teen’s death ruled drowning

RIVERTON — The 15-year-old Evanston boy who died in July during a tubing accident at Morton Lake was not intoxicated at the time, toxicology testing showed.

Dagon L. McWhorter, 15, died at about 1 p.m. July 24 of asphyxia due to fresh-water drowning, according to a report from the Fremont County Coroner’s Office.

Toxicology testing revealed no relevant substances, the report states.

The youth’s  body was retrieved from the lake July 26, but law enforcement initially responded at about 1 p.m. July 24 to a report that the boy was “struggling in the water while trying to swim ashore.”

He had been tubing with other teens near the Sunrise Recreation area boat ramp on the north side of the lake, according to a press release from the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office.

First responders at the scene were unable to find the teen July 24, and on July 25 crews and divers spent “the entire day” grid-searching the portion of the lake in which he was last seen, Fremont County Sheriff Ryan Lee said.

The July 25 search also was fruitless, so Lee said more search crews were deployed July 26, along with “additional sophisticated sonar equipment from the Sublette County Sheriff.” 

The body was recovered just before noon July 26 in about 45 feet of water. Lee said the operation was completed “without incident.”

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Crater Ridge Fire 75% contained

SHERIDAN — Recent warm, dry, and windy days have contributed to more active fire behavior on the Crater Ridge Fire since Labor Day, with 75 percent of the 6,502 acre-fire contained. 

The fire started July 17 from suspected lightning 30 miles east of Lovell in the Bighorn National Forest.

Growth has remained slight as most areas are surrounded by already burnt timber and air resources were able to check further spread. Ongoing pockets of activity may continue to be visible on warm and dry days in the near future.

Despite the return of visible smoke, crews led by Wyoming Team 3 safely extended containment in the first part of the week and throughout their assignment. They were also able to repair areas impacted by earlier suppression efforts.

“Crews were able to hold on, monitor and put air resources on a fire that became more active in the last few days,” said Incident Commander trainee Joshua McGee.

This success, including rapid response to new activity, was made possible through the support of the Wyoming Office of Homeland Security. Their communication team helps provide reliable radio coverage to incident management teams within the state of Wyoming.

A Type 4 Incident Commander assumed command Wednesday at 6 a.m.

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