Dinosaur crash victims’ names released | CraigDailyPress.com

Dinosaur crash victims’ names released

Jerry Raehal

— The names of the victims involved in a fatal crash near Dinosaur on July 11 have been released.

Bryan Whittington, 40, of Louisiana, and Robert White, 42, of Wyoming, were killed in a high-speed crash officials called one of the worst crash scenes they had seen. They were the only two in the vehicles.

Names were not originally released because dental records were needed to prove identity.

Alcohol is suspected to be a factor; however, Moffat County Coroner Owen Grant said toxicology reports still are a couple of days out.

The crash occurred at 8:43 p.m. on U.S. Highway 40 near mile marker 11.

Whittington was driving a Ford F-150 – hauling a camper trailer – eastbound. His vehicle was traveling partially in the westbound lane, according to a Colorado State Patrol report.

Whittington’s vehicle collided with a Kenworth semi-tractor – belonging to BTI and driven by White – headed westbound. White was hauling a tanker, owned by Praxair, which had a full load of compressed carbon dioxide.

Both vehicles apparently were driving at or around the 65 mile per hour speed limit at the time of the crash, State Patrol Sgt. Chad Dunlap reported July 12.

The Ford was pushed backward by the crash and came to rest in the middle of the roadway. The Kenworth veered to the left and began to rotate counter-clockwise. The Kenworth and its tanker rolled 3/4 times onto its left side.

The tanker was punctured. Both vehicles caught fire.

A fire spread across both lanes of the highway, as well as the grass shoulder on the south side of the highway, Dunlap said.

The crash scene left little for investigators to determine the make of the vehicles, Dunlap said, saying the only way the State Patrol could identify the Ford was the tailgate.

“I’ve been a trooper for 10 years : and this is by far the most devastating crash I’ve ever seen,” Dunlap said. “I don’t mean devastating in terms of injuries or the fatalities. I mean the crash as a whole. I mean the damage, the severity of the heat involved with the fires.”

The crash closed U.S. Highway 40 from the time of the crash until noon July 12, more than 15 hours after the crash occurred.

The Moffat County HazMat team responded to the accident at the request of the Colorado State Patrol HazMat, which had a longer response time than Moffat County. Colorado State Patrol HazMat relieved Moffat County HazMat once they arrived.

Before the crash, Whittington quit his job July 7 working as a welding inspector while with Anadarko Petroleum. When Whittington quit, he was working at a site south of Vernal, Utah.

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