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Truck driver killed in crash on steep mountain highway in Wyoming

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The Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) confirmed that a truck driver lost his life in a single vehicle crash earlier this month after losing control on a stretch of mountain highway near Buffalo known locally as “Dead Man’s Curve.”

The crash occurred around noon on August 17 on U.S. Highway 16 at mile marker 86 through Mosier Gulch into Buffalo.

Authorities say that Texas-based truck driver Javier Cardoso-Reyes, 47, was hauling a load of drill pipe when he lost control while descending the steep grade.

According to local reports, Cardoso-Reyes was unable to slow his truck or to negotiate the turn near the runaway truck arrestor.

The truck rolled over a guardrail and down an embankment, with the trailer separating from the cab. The tractor caught fire, sparking a small grass fire. ‘

Cardoso-Reyes was found inside the cab and pronounced dead at the scene.

There have been several truck accidents in Mosier Gulch over the years — some of them fatal.

In July 2021, a truck driver traveling down Mosier Gulch lost control and took the runaway truck arrestor. The Buffalo Bulletin reports that the truck went through all 10 nets that are part of the arrestor system, but that the driver and a passenger were able to get out of the cab and weren’t injured.

WYDOT says that they’ll continue to work to educate truck drivers on what to expect in terms of turns and the steep grade. They are also looking at possible upgrades to the “CatchNET” truck arrestor systems on Highway 16 and Highway 22 (Teton Pass), according to Cowboy State Daily.

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