Sunday brought two fatalities on Highway 26, with deaths in separate crashes near Alpine and on Togwotee Pass.
Avery Rogers, a 33-year-old Jackson man, was driving westbound on Togwotee Pass around 2 p.m. at a “high rate of speed,” Wyoming Highway Patrol Lt. Matt Brackin said. After losing control turning a corner near mile marker 12.5, Rogers overcorrected and rolled into trees on the north side of the highway.
He was wearing a seatbelt, Brackin said, but died at the scene. Patrol officials are investigating speed and alcohol as potential causes of the crash.
There were no witnesses, but other drivers said they had seen Rogers driving fast past them.
Around 6:30 p.m. Sunday, a pack of motorcyclists was headed north from Alpine along Palisades Reservoir. About a mile out of town, as the pack slowed for a vehicle turning right, a 44-year-old Idaho Falls woman named Melinda Gregston hit her brakes too hard, Brackin said.
Her rear brakes locked, and she tipped over and slid, sustaining fatal internal injuries. She died at the scene. Brackin said she was wearing a helmet and that investigators do not suspect alcohol played any role in the crash.
Gregston did not collide with anyone else. Another motorcyclist fell and slid behind her but suffered no significant injuries.
The crashes bring the 2019 death count on Wyoming highways to 56, more than double the number at this time last year. It’s the highest figure in the past six years, with the next being 42 in 2015.
This asset was updated to correct Avery Rogers age. — Eds.