A flurry of vehicle crashes across Gillette and Campbell County kept local law enforcement and emergency responders busy yesterday with at least 13 accidents between morning and night, including five involving snow plows, one a school bus, and a tractor-trailer run-in with a greenhouse.
The morning began with a school bus sliding into the ditch in the 4500 block of Echeta Road due to road conditions. There were no injuries or citations, according to the Campbell County Sheriff (CCSO), but the bus had to be towed out of the ditch.
A short time later, CCSO deputies responded to the report of a county plow truck that had slid off the road and tipped over on Red Hills Road approximately ¼ mile from east Highway 50 with no injuries or citations.
At 9:33 a.m., the Gillette Police Department (GPD) received a report from the 23-year-old owner of a 1994 Buick that an adult male had unlawfully stolen his vehicle and driven through a fence in the Albertson’s parking lot, where the car became stuck in deep snow. The owner detained the driver, who appeared to be in medical distress, until officers arrived, GPD said. The driver was then transported to Campbell County Memorial Hospital. Meanwhile, the Buick had a cracked windshield and scratches, which combined with the fence damage totaled over $1,000.
Just before 11 a.m., GPD responded to the Walmart parking lot where a 31-year-old man driving a 2008 Chevy pickup had attempted to pass a front-end loader plowing snow. The 43-year-old loader operator was unable to stop in time, GPD said, and struck the pickup truck. The drive of the pickup was given a warning for improper lookout with damages estimated at over $1,000.
At nearly the same time, GPD responded to the 900 block of Camel Drive where a 60-year-old man in a Chevrolet pickup truck was plowing snow and struck a 1996 Chevrolet pickup that was parked and unoccupied. There were no injuries and damages are estimated at over $1,000; the driver of the pick up was given a warning for improper lookout.
Less than an hour later, a tractor trailer collided with a greenhouse on Town Center Drive. A 56-year-old man was attempting to turn the corner near the greenhouse when he slid on a patch of icy road, GPD reported. Estimated damages to the greenhouse are $400 with minimal damages to the truck.
Just before 2 p.m. in the 3100 block of South Garner Lake Road, a 17-year-old male driving a 2001 Honda Civic struck a light pole. His 19-year-old female passenger complained of neck pain and was transported by EMS to the Campbell County Memorial Hospital. The Gillette City Electrical Department estimated the damages to the pole to be over $4,000, GPD Lt. Brent Wasson said, with over $1,000 in estimated damages to the vehicle. The driver was cited for speed too fast for conditions and not having proof of insurance.
Later that afternoon, GPD responded to the 1100 block of Granite Street for another snow plow accident. A 35-year-old man operating a city plow truck was turning the corner when the plow grabbed the ice and pulled the truck into the side of a Dodge pickup. There were no injuries or citations issued and damages were estimated at over $1,000.