The Wyoming Highway Patrol is looking at adverse winter weather conditions as contributing factors in fatal accidents near Lusk and Elk Mountain in recent weeks, according to news releases from Patrol Sgt. David Wagener on Tuesday.

On the morning of Nov. 19, Dayla Banda, 16, of Firebaugh, Calif., was a passenger in a sedan driven by Maritza Rodriguez, also of Firebaugh, traveling northbound on U.S. Highway 85 about eight miles north of Lusk.

The car began fishtailing on a patch of ice, and entered the southbound lane.

A pickup driven by Lusk resident Jerrad Blair, 34, swerved into the northbound lane to avoid the oncoming car. But as the pickup swerved into the northbound lane, the car re-entered the northbound lane.

The two vehicles crashed head-on at the center line of the highway.

Dayla Banda was not wearing her seat belt, and was taken to Lusk before being taken to Children’s Hospital in Denver. She died at the hospital on Nov. 30.

A second non-restrained 16-year-old female passenger was taken by helicopter to Children’s Hospital for her injuries.

Rodriguez was wearing her seat and was taken to the Lusk hospital for her injuries.

Blair was wearing his seat belt, was taken to the Lusk hospital, and was treated and released.

The Wyoming Highway Patrol is investigating the ice-covered road conditions as the contributing factor in this crash that marked the 108th highway fatality in Wyoming for 2016. There were 139 fatalities during this same time period last year.
Ice also was a contributing factor in a crash that killed Nathan Weber-Worrell, 27, of Rawlins on Interstate 80 about five miles west of Elk Mountain at 3:45 a.m. Sunday.

Weber-Worrell was driving a pickup traveling east on I-80.

The vehicle lost control on the ice-covered highway, left the road to the south, collided with a snow-packed embankment, and tripped and rolled.

Weber-Worrell was not wearing was his seat belt, was ejected and died at the scene.

The Highway Patrol is investigating impaired driving, speed and slick road conditions as contributing factors in this crash that marked the 110th highway fatality in Wyoming for 2016. There were 139 fatalities during this same time period last year.