A Williamston woman and a Greenville man died from injuries they sustained in a vehicle accident in Wyoming on Sunday, May 14. The following report was published by the Rawlins Times, Rawlins Wy.
RAWLINS, WY — A Utah man faces up to 30 years in prison for allegedly crashing his commercial vehicle into a pickup truck on Interstate 80 Sunday, killing a woman and injuring a man, both from South Carolina.
Chad Henderson, 50, of Layton, Utah, faces felony charges of aggravated homicide by vehicle and aggravated assault and battery, as well as misdemeanors of reckless driving and failure to maintain a single lane of travel.
According to his criminal affidavit, Henderson was witnessed crashing into the vehicle at milepost 216 at around 6 p.m. by Wyoming Highway Patrol Trooper Jason Jurca.
Jurca, the affidavit stated, “saw a commercial motor vehicle smash into the rear of the white (pickup) and an explosion of debris and dust.”
Upon his arrival on scene, Jurca located a woman later identified as Ashley Michelle Mathews and Christopher Albert Burton
WHP Sgt. Kyle McKay said that Mathews was 26, of Williamston, S.C., and that Burton was 30, of Greenville, S.C.
Mathews “was unresponsive with labored breathing,” while Burton was responsive, complaining of pain. He told Jurca their vehicle was on the shoulder “because they were having vehicle problems,” the affidavit stated.
He retrieved his first aid kit from his vehicle and Rawlins Police Officer Joel Robertson arrived to assist. Robertson used his automated external defibrillator on Mathews and he and another citizen performed CPR, the affidavit stated. Later, ambulance and fire crews arrived and took over providing medical attention.
Later, Memorial Hospital of Carbon County staff contacted WHP to say that Mathews had died at 3:11 p.m. Monday and that Burton “had fractured his vertebrae in the crash.”
Jurca walked the scene and obtained a pair of witness statements, as well as contacted Henderson. His findings indicate that the pickup was on the shoulder and that the commercial vehicle was “nearly entirely on the shoulder” at the time of the crash.
Henderson told Jurca in an interview that he intended to stop at the Travel Centers of America in Rawlins to sleep and that while he was driving, he reached down to grab some candy, took his eyes off the road and “drifted off the road onto the shoulder where he crashed into the white vehicle.”
Henderson, the affidavit stated, was compliant and consented to a blood draw. Its results were not mentioned in the affidavit.