Bremertonian in Wyoming Traffic Accident

This story in the Rocky Mountain News tells of a prominent Colorado family, three of whom were killed when a truck driven by a Bremerton man hit their Subaru.

According to the Wyoming Highway Patrol, (John) Parr was driving west on a slick, snow-blown I-80 about six miles west of Rawlins when he lost control of the family’s 2007 Subaru station wagon. Another driver, Angela Seeley, 42, of Colorado Springs, tried to avoid the car in her Acura SUV but ended up clipping the front of the Subaru. Seeley then hit the back of a snowplow driven by Johnny Woolner, 54, of Rawlins, according to the report. Robert Maxwell, 46, also attempted to avoid the mess but his pickup hit the Acura. Then, a tractor-trailer driven by William Bowers, 58, of Bremerton, Wash., broadsided the Subaru on the driver’s side. Parr, (Parr’s wife Sandy) Widener and their daughter Chase died at the scene. Troopers cited Seeley, Maxwell and Bowers for driving too fast for conditions.

Parr founded Colorado Common Cause and was one of those who helped establish sunshine laws in that state. Widener was a writer who started Denver’s alternative newspaper Westword.

In the comments after the story I posted the link to, you’ll find criticism of the extra coverage the family received because of the prominence they had in the community, a question why the family’s citizenship status wasn’t included and one anti-prayer opinion. There was no criticism of Bowers. I only mention that because sometimes a community or group or family will get on a soap box after an incident such as this. Maybe it’s too early in the lifespan of this tragedy. In fact, one commenter speculated on how difficult this must be for Bowers.

My thoughts and prayers are also with the Truck driver, and his family. This sounds like a tragic accident due to the weather, and I can only imagine the grief the driver is experiencing due to this. Thats the horrific thing about accidents, is that more then one family has been effected by this. I know that the Parr family has suffered the greatest loss, but I don’t know how I’d handle being the one to have ended their lives, regardless of fault. I’m not surprised at the citations, but knowing a little about the workings of things, I have a feeling John Parr would of been cited if he had survived.

Interstate 80 is nasty in Wyoming winter. The snow is intense, the winds are high and seeing the road at all is not a given. The roads stretch for miles without signs of civilization along either side. The highway is regularly closed.

The Denver Post reported that shortly after the Parr accident Saturday, seven cars piled up in another chain-reaction wreck about five miles away.

One thought on “Bremertonian in Wyoming Traffic Accident

  1. I am so sorry for the loss of this family. It was a sad and unfortunate accident where a young girl has lost her mother, father, and only sibling. I hope she has strong family members who will help guide her through this horrible loss – as she will help them.

    Funny thing… rich or poor…it is clear the Parrs lived their lives immersed in their community and worked to make changes and championed causes. They clearly…touched many lives through community involvement.
    The friends they made – the lives they affected – all these people have stories to tell. They must be in shock as they come to realize the importance this family played in their lives… and how they will be missed…this unusual family of committed community involvement.
    Rich or poor … this family was actively involved and helped bring positive changes about through their efforts and their death, their loss to their community, will be felt.

    Money has nothing to do with it.

    Rich or poor … nothing matters at the end…only how we live our lives…how we get involved. People like the Parr’s, get involved and their loss is bound to be felt… a community loss.
    A tragic accident … I am glad some survived.
    Thank you, Steven.
    In my opinion… Sharon O’Hara

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