Tractor-trailer in Teton Pass fatal crash found to be overweight

By Clarissa Kell-Holland, Land Line staff writer | 10/8/2012

Investigators for the Wyoming Highway Patrol say that the truck of a driver killed in a crash while descending Teton Pass near Wilson, WY, was between 15,000 and 18,000 pounds overweight.

Jay Winn, 36, of Hines, OR, was pronounced dead at the scene on Sept. 30. Sgt. John Townsend of the Wyoming Highway Patrol told Land Line on Monday, Oct. 8, that the crash occurred about three miles after the last runaway crash ramp.

“Somewhere within that 3-mile stretch Winn lost the ability to slow or stop his combination,” according to a WHP release. “Winn died in the crash when his combination failed to negotiate a curve in the roadway at the town limits of Wilson, which sits near the bottom of the pass.”

The Teton Pass has a 60,000-pound weight limit because of the steep grades and sharp turns. Townsend said there is an unmanned weigh station on the west side of the pass so truckers can weigh their rigs before heading up the pass. However, Townsend said he isn’t sure how many truckers actually stop there and weigh their tractor-trailers before heading up the pass.

Tractor-trailer traffic is banned from traveling on the Teton Pass from Nov. 15, 2012, until April 1, 2013, “because of the severe winter weather conditions that may be encountered,” according to the WHP release.

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