Wyoming Highway Patrol K-9 Team Injured in Crash
A Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper, an Afton man and a police dog were all taken to hospitals last night after a two-vehicle crash about 20 miles north of Afton.
All but the trooper have been released from medical care. The trooper, 11-year veteran Scott Neilson, was hospitalized with injuries that were not considered life-threatening, according to a news release from the Patrol.
Shortly before 6:15 p.m. Wednesday on U.S. Highway 89, Neilson stopped on the shoulder so he could turn around and help a driver change a tire.
The trooper started to make a u-turn from a stopped position on the shoulder of the highway, but didn't see a northbound 2011 Chevy Silverado driven by 58-year-old Kenneth Magrath of Thayne.
The two vehicles collided in the middle of the highway.
After the crash, K-9 Hunter -- who had been in Neilson's patrol car -- jumped out and ran from the scene.
Troopers tracked Hunter in the snow for about three miles while the temperature was -15 F. They eventually found Hunter, with help from the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office, other troopers and a large community response via a Facebook alert.
Magrath was wearing his seat belt and was taken by ambulance to Star Valley Medical Center in Afton. He was treated and released.
Neilson was also wearing his seat belt. He was taken to the same hospital with injuries not considered to be life-threatening.
Hunter was taken to Carter Animal Hospital in Thayne, where he received a clean bill of health.
"This event is yet another example of the high level of quality our Wyoming citizens possess from the support that was provided to our K-9 Team last night," said Patrol Colonel Kebin Haller.
"This couldn't have ended any better," Haller concluded.