A motorist accused of causing a multi-vehicle crash that killed five people near Rawlins, Wyoming, is now facing nearly a dozen charges including multiple felony vehicular homicide charges.
Utah resident Arthur Andrew Nelson, 57, is facing eleven charges, including five counts of aggravated vehicular homicide due to DUI. Other charges include DUI with serious bodily injury, reckless driving, reckless endangerment, driving the wrong way on a divided highway, and driving on a suspended license, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
The charges were issued in connection with a crash that occurred on Sunday, January 22, 2023, east of Rawlins, Wyoming.
According to the Wyoming Highway Patrol (WHP), troopers were notified of a wrong-way driver on I-80 at 6:52 p.m. and were then notified of a collision involving the wrong-way driver at 6:58 p.m.
Following an investigation into the crash, troopers say that a Dodge Ram 3500 driven by Nelson was eastbound in the westbound lanes of I-80. The Dodge Ram struck a commercial truck and a passenger vehicle.
As this crash occurred, the driver of a second commercial vehicle swerved into the median and then into the eastbound lanes of I-80 to try to avoid the wrong-way Dodge Ram.
The commercial vehicle struck an eastbound Ford F-150 head-on and both vehicles immediately caught fire.
The five occupants of the Ford F-150 died as a result of the crash. They were students returning to Arkansas following a visit to Jackson Hole Bible College in Jackson Hole, according to reports.
News outlet KATV reports that Nelson failed a sobriety test and admitted to using meth the day prior to the fatal crash.
The maximum penalty for for felony aggravated homicide by vehicle is 20 years in prison or a fine of $10,000.
Nelson is being held on a $500,000 bond as he is considered a flight risk and a danger to society.
The Casper Star-Tribune reports that Nelson was wanted on a previous warrant out of Utah for a December incident on charges of speeding, failing to maintain his lane, and no valid license.