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2 missing after driving UTV into open water at Keyhole State Park, search and rescue efforts continuing

(File Photo)

GILLETTE, Wyo. –  Two men remain missing in Keyhole State Park after reportedly taking a utility task vehicle onto the frozen reservoir and driving into open water, the Crook County Sheriff’s Office said Friday. 

The men were part of a group of three Crook County individuals who reportedly drove a UTV onto the ice while emergency services were responding to another incident where a man fell through the ice while driving his UTV on the reservoir around 9:10 p.m. on Dec. 15, the local sheriff’s office reports. 

Witnesses reported they last saw the men driving across the reservoir but say they lost sight of them as they headed out onto the ice, per the sheriff’s office, which says emergency personnel located and rescued the initial subject and another man.

“Information was obtained that the second individual was one of the three individuals on the second UTV and that they had driven into open water,” the sheriff’s office said in a Dec. 16 release. “The other two male individuals in the UTV were not located.”

The two rescued men were transported by ambulance to Campbell County Memorial Hospital with search and rescue operations to locate the other two men continuing until 11 p.m. when they were suspended due to winter weather conditions, per the release. 

At approximately 7:30 a.m. on Dec. 16, search efforts resumed with ice rescue units walking out to the area that the second UTV was last seen heading towards, the release states.

“There was a substantial area of open water in this area,” Crook County Sheriff’s Office says. “(Search and rescue) units were unable to locate any of the missing individuals in the area, but were able to find evidence of a possible entry point (where) the UTV entered the water.”

As of 10 a.m. this morning, additional equipment and resources have been requested by Crook County Homeland Security to continue the mission, the sheriff’s office says.