Highway Patrol patch

A collision Sunday in Lincoln County killed Jackson resident John Joseph Koerber.

Just after 1 p.m. Sunday, the 22-year-old was driving north on Highway 89 in snowy, icy conditions, Wyoming Highway Patrol Lt. Matt Brackin said Monday. Koerber was about four miles south of Thayne, in “the Narrows,” when he lost control of his 2002 Ford Focus and collided with an oncoming 2007 GMC pickup pulling an empty horse trailer.

“They both went off the road,” Brackin said.

The driver of the truck and his passenger, both of Thayne, were taken to the Star Valley Medical Center where they were evaluated and released. They were both wearing seatbelts.

Koerber was wearing his seatbelt but was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. He died from “massive trauma from the impact,” Lincoln County Coroner Dain Schwab said.

Troopers said Koerber was driving too fast for the snowy conditions, which caused his car to spin out of control and enter the oncoming lane. They estimated that he was going 65-70 mph.

Both the Ford Focus and GMC truck were totaled, Brackin said.

Brackin urged drivers to be mindful of their speed now that winter conditions are here.

“Everyone has to slow down,” he said. “Some days even the speed limit is too fast, and even if you’re going below the speed limit and you’re outpacing other cars, you might be going too fast for road conditions.”

Brackin said if your car doesn’t have four-wheel drive or if it doesn’t handle well in the snow, you should slow down even more.

This marks the 142nd fatality on Wyoming highways this year. That’s an increase compared with 2018, when 106 had died by this date, 2017 (119) and 2016 (109).

Contact Emily Mieure at 732-7066 or courts@jhnewsandguide.com.

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