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Darion Wheeler, 18, Paul McEwan, 20, and Destinee Wheeler, 15, killed, and Brian Rhodes, 32, injured in two-vehicle crash on Highway 789 near Lander, Wyoming

Modified Date: 
Thu, 03/16/2017 - 10:07am
Accident Date: 
Tuesday, March 14, 2017

3 die in accident near Lander

The patrol says all three victims were traveling northbound in a 2003 Honda Pilot SUV when the vehicle failed to negotiate a left-hand curve and was overcorrected. The SUV went into a counter-clockwise spin and entered the southbound lanes where it collided with a southbound 1993 Chevrolet Silverado.

3 Wyoming residents killed in collision near Lander

The three victims have been identified: Darion Wheeler, 18, Lander; Paul McEwan, 20, Greybull; Destinee Wheeler, 15, Hudson.

Type: Car Accident
People Involved: 
Darion Wheeler
Paul McEwan
Destinee Wheeler
Brian Rhodes
Highway 789
Lander, WY


The "official" Wyoming Highway Patrol narrative cites the failure to negotiate a curve as a contributing factor and this is absolutely false and not supported by the evidence. This segment of highway contains a slight bend, not a curve. Local television news has shown other area of the highway with a curve but that isn't where the accident happened - the skid marks and vehicle fluids prove where the accident really took place and it's far from a curve and this is factual evidence. Witness statements report that the SUV was driving at a speed in excess of the 70mph speed limit and that it had come up behin d a stock trailer pulled by a pickup truck very quickly due to excessive speed and whipped the vehicle to the left passing lane quickly then cut back in quickly to the right in front of the pickup pulling the stock trailer and at that point went off onto the the rumble strips that were on the highway shoulder and turned back to the left abruptly and out of control (skid marks show this) at which point the SUV crossed 5 lanes to end up directly int he path of travel of the Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck and that driver had no time to react and there are no skid marks from that vehicle.  The pickup truck driver, Brian Rhodes, was critically injured, transported by fround ambulance to a local hospital (Lander) and from there was transported by air to another hospital but nobody is saying where he was transported - which seems really odd - and while the entire community is doing fundraisers for the deceased there is virtually no mention of the survivor of the wreck, who also certainly has bills that will need to be paid and potentially life-diminishing injuries, and this too seems really odd and to me as a concerned citizen it is quite upsetting and unsettling to try and figure out what's going on here. Why is the Wyoming Highway Patrol making up a narrative inconsistent with the facts? The road was completely dry and yet the term "spin out" has been used as if the pavement were somehow slick from moisture, snow or ice. Why have the witness statements been ignored as to what actually happened? Why is the survivor, who is Native American, being so terribly and blatantly down-played? From the true evidence, the survivor, Brian Rhodes, is the biggest victim in this entire mess. This man had nowhere to go, no time to react and from evidence at the scene was driving in the slow lane on the complete opposite side of the highway from where the SUV came at him. If the SUV had lost control two second later this individual would have been past that spot on the highway and spared his horrific injuries. His pickup truck was absolutely destroyed, front end completely gone and the engine was pushed into the cab where he was pinned and had to be extraced by emergency personnel. This man has a family, a spouse and children. Why is all of the news and all fo the fundraising about the deceased and this man is ignored? Why is law enforcement to make this accident seem like it was something simple like losing control on a curve when is was far different and the SUV was 100% at fault? I do not know any of the people involved but this is making me lose sleep at night. 

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