Minnesota man dies in Johnson County crash - KOTA Territory News

Minnesota man dies in Johnson County crash


A Deerwood, Minnesota man is dead after a three vehicle Friday crash.

The Wyoming Highway Patrol says it happened near a construction zone on I-90 in Johnson County, about 35 miles east of Buffalo.

West bound traffic was diverted to the east bound side of I-90 where there were two lanes of traffic traveling both east and west bound.  An extremely large oversized load was being moved through the construction zone.  In order to facilitate this movement west bound traffic had to be stopped completely before entering the construction zone.  This closure was supposed to last no more than 30 minutes.  At the time of the crash the closure had been in effect for one hour and twenty five minutes.  Westbound traffic had backed up approximately 2 miles to the east of the construction zone.  Construction crews had moved traffic control signs behind the stopped vehicles and there was nearly a mile of visibility for oncoming drivers to be alerted that traffic was stopped.

75-year-old Jerome Poland came to a controlled stop in the right lane behind the stopped traffic.  Zetha Drew-Estes of Rapid City came to a controlled stop in the left lane, next to the Poland vehicle.  Kristen Eliassen of Gillette stated that prior to the crash she had her cruise control set at 80 miles per hour and had shut her cruise off as she looked to the east bound lanes of I-90 at the large oversized load.

When she looked straight ahead traffic was stopped and she struck the back of the Poland vehicle.  The impact caused the Poland vehicle to slide to the left, cross into the left lane, and strike the back of the Estes vehicle.  Poland was sent to Wyoming Medical Center in Casper. Everyone else in Poland's vehicle, including William Perron, Meredith Poland, and Mary Perron, was transported to Johnson County Memorial Hospital in Buffalo.  No one else involved was injured.

Eliassen has been cited for careless driving.

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