Posted 9 months ago
By John Axtell
The Hall County Sheriff’s office says 39 year old Jennifer Jones was one of 4 women riding together to a Mothers of Preschoolers conference in Kansas City when their vehicle was hit by an oncoming semi after being forced into the median. Jones, sitting in the back seat, died at the scene.
Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Chris Rea says the driver, 26-year old Karisa Bennett of Torrington, was eastbound and passing a semi when it veered into her lane, apparently to pass another vehicle.
Bennett went into the median to avoid the truck, but lost control of her luxury crossover wagon and continued on into the westbound lanes, where they were hit by another semi.
Rea says the second truck driver, 44-year old Ivan Asimiones of North Highlands, Calif. , made every effort to avoid hitting the women’s vehicle…taking “great evasive action,” but the semi struck the back portion of the car on the driver’s side. Asimione was wearing a seat belt and was uninjured.
All four women were also wearing seat belts, and Bennett and front seat passenger 35-year old Sarah Hatch of Torrington escaped with non-life threatening injuries.
A third passenger riding in the back seat with Jones, 34-year old Larrah Gurnsey of Scottsbluff, was listed this morning in very critical condition at St. Francis Hospital in Grand Island…where all 3 were taken.
The accident occurred just west of the Wood River exit of Interstate 80 and closed the freeway for more than 4 hours. with traffic diverted at Wood River and Shelton.
Deputies are trying to locate the driver of the semi that forced Bennett into the median. Rea doesn’t anticipate any criminal charges being filed.
Authorities are still attempting to locate the driver of the semi that led Bennett to go into the median, but deputy Rea doesn’t anticipate any criminal charges being filed. He also says that, based on the initial investigation, neither alcohol or speed were believed to be factors in the accident.
Jennifer Jones is survived by her husband and their three children, daughters Kennedy (10) and Harper (2) and son Max (4).
Eastern Wyoming College President Dr Tom Armstrong issued a statement this morning saying that the entire school shares the loss of Jones.
“We are missing someone close to home,” “We are doing all we can at this point to support Casey, his family and his team during this incredibly difficult time.”
EWC is on Fall Break through Friday, but all athletes are on campus for practice.