Pinedale man survives crash off cliff

Wyoming Highw ay Patrol courtesy ph oto The Pontiac G6 remains at the base of a 500-foot cliff off Skyline Drive after the vehicle and its driver vaulted off the road. The driver was flown from the Pinedale Clinic for medical care.

Spends cold night on mountain

A Pinedale

man survived a 500-foot drop when his car

went over a cliff above Fremont Lake, but

spent a cold night before contacting rescuers.

Lucas Corwin, 25, of Pinedale, was able

to call Tuesday about 10:45 a.m. setting off

a search by law enforcement agencies, firefighters

and personnel from Bridger-Teton

National Forest.

According to Sublette County Sheriff

K.C. Lehr, when the call came in he and

other law enforcement started walking the

rights-of-way on Skyline Drive north of

White Pine Ski Resort’s access road. Lehr

said he had walked nearly a mile past where

the crash occurred, searching for skid marks

or tracks showing where the vehicle had left

the road.

Lehr said at some point another officer

heard Corwin shouting for help. The crash

site was not visible from the road.

According to Wyoming Highway Patrol

Trooper Brandon Deckert, the Pontiac G6

“vaulted” almost 100 feet before hitting the

edge of a rock shelf. The vehicle then cartwheeled

end over end another 300 or 400

feet down the steep embankment.

There were no visible tracks or skid marks

from the vehicle from the road.

During the fall, Corwin, who was not

wearing a seatbelt, was ejected from the vehicle.

The crash occurred before dark Monday

night. Corwin managed to get into the

Local efforts to install fiber, health-care merger stall

PINEDALE  – The items removed from

the Sublette County Commissioners’ May 22

meeting agenda were more telling than the

items that remained on the agenda.

All five commissioners including Chairman

David Burnett and commissioners

Doug Vickrey, Tom Noble, Joel Bousman

and Mack Rawhouser attended the meeting,

which was moved to Wednesday to accommodate

commissioners’ travel schedules.

One item on the agenda stated “Sublette

County Rural Health Care/ Sublette Center

– Information / announcement regarding

merger.” However, before the meeting began,

Burnett amended the agenda by removing the


He later said a merger was voted on at

the Sublette Center’s regular board meeting,

passing with a 5-3 vote. Chairman Lynn Bernard

was absent from the meeting. Burnett

said Bernard and the Sublette Center’s attorney

Gaston Gosar questioned the proposed

merger and some of the conditions placed on

the merger.

Sublette County Rural Health Care District

Board member Bill Johnson said the delay is


“We just wanted to merge for the sake of

the community,” Johnson said.

What was proposed is one company with

two divisions, he said. The Sublette Center’s

medical wing needs many upgrades and this

would have been a solution for all parties.

“We understood Bernard and Gaston were

prepared to make a spectacle at the commissioners’

meeting, so we just called it off,”

Johnson said.

On Tuesday, a majority of the players were

in attendance at the Senior Art Reception at

Aspen Grove.

“We were all talking about the merger

and very excited,” Johnson said. By the time

commissioners met Wednesday morning, the

entire deal was called off.

“It was a huge disappointment to all of

us,” Johnson said. “It needs to be done and

we have three boards in agreement. We

shouldn’t wait until another election and

things change.”

A call to Bernard was not returned as of

press time.


Another project coming to a grinding halt

is the effort by the county and three municipalities

to get fiber optic through to Sublette


During the Pinedale Town Council’s

budget workshop on May 21, Mayor Matt

Murdock skipped over a $1 million item for

broadband, saying the entire project was on


On Wednesday, an agenda item titled

“Broadband discussion” was also removed

from the commissioners’ agenda.

During the commissioners’ business

discussions, Noble, who has served on the

broadband consortium for nearly two years,

said it appears Union Wireless is moving forward

immediately, putting fiber in the ground

between Rock Springs and Pinedale. He said

the company reportedly is beginning near the

Museum of the Mountain Man this month.

Sublette County’s low population has

made laying fiber unprofitable for private

companies to invest in key infrastructure in

the past. However, the availability of several

federal grants to pay the way to get fiber to

outlying areas has served as motivation.

Union was two months ahead of Sublette

County’s consortium in the application process

for those grants, basically sucking the

wind out of any forward progress by the

county’s group.

Noble said Union appears to be following

the exact path that was put together with the


Initially All-West’s request for proposal

was accepted as the best partner for the

Holly Dabb ph oto

Law enforcement officers piece together

the details of a crash Monday

evening that left the driver at the bottom

of a steep embankment until Tuesday

morning. Faint marks show where

the vehicle left the road, but didn’t

touch the ground for more than 100

feet before going over the edge.

crashed vehicle, despite back injuries. He remained

in the vehicle until Tuesday morning.

According to the National Weather Service,

temperatures fell to 21 degrees Fahrenheit

during the night. Corwin was able to

call for help Tuesday morning and give his

approximate location.

Once located, Sublette County Unified

Fire was called with ropes and a backboard.

Due to the long distance from the road, six

emergency responders carried the litter up

the steep slope that was slick from snow that

fell through the night. Even as the rescue

took place, low clouds with rain and snow

drifted over the area.

Once he was taken to the Pinedale Clinic,

Corwin was flown by helicopter. The highway

patrol did not know where he was transported.

Deckert said the cause of the crash was

“intentional.” No alcohol or drugs are suspected

in the crash. No citations were issued.

Corwin was fortunate to obtain any cell

service on the remote hill, Deckert said. The

vehicle owner is responsible for recovering

the vehicle.


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