Organizations team up for Kemmerer’s Safe Drive ROADeo

(COURTESY PHOTO/Traci Countryman)

The Wyoming Highway Patrol had this vehicle on display during the Safe Drive ROADeo on Saturday, Aug. 22, in Kemmerer. It included a sign detailing how the cruiser was damaged and highlighting the importance of wearing seatbelts. On May 9, 2018, at 10:30 p.m., Wyoming Highway Patrol troopers were pursuing a suspect for reckless driving. The suspect had turned off his lights and was crossing the yellow line into oncoming traffic. As the pursuit continued, the suspect evaded law enforcement’s attempts to spike the vehicle. Trooper A.J. Bluemel of the Bridger Valley was in pursuit of the suspect, but due to the flashing lights of the other pursuing officers’ vehicles, he was unable to see the suspect vehicle until the vehicle was almost immediately in front of him. Bluemel swerved off the road to avoid striking the suspect vehicle, leaving the roadway at over 100 mph. The trooper struck an approach to public land, launching his patrol vehicle into the air. The vehicle soared 114 feet before hitting the ground at approximately 93 mph, flipping end over end two or three times before rolling three times side to side. The vehicle came to a final rest in a ravine before catching fire. Bluemel was wearing his seatbelt and suffered a small bleed in his brain, a concussion, chipped tooth and minor soreness. Bluemel is now back to work protecting the citizens of Wyoming.

Lyla Maxwell, a member of the Kemmerer Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) Club and SADD Wyoming, drives a pedal car while wearing “beer goggles” to simulate driving drunk. Maxwell took the lead on bringing the event to Kemmerer. The idea behind the event was to teach students the importance of driving safely, being aware while on the road and many other important topics, according to Traci Countryman.

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