Crash claims lives of Powell sisters

Via the Wyoming News Exchange

Powell volunteer firefighters and emergency personnel struggle to remove the doors of a Chevrolet truck involved in a fatal wreck on U.S. Highway 14A near Road 18 Friday afternoon around 1 p.m. Photo by Mark Davis, Powell Tribune. 

POWELL (WNE) — A Friday afternoon crash on U.S. Highway 14A claimed the lives of two young Powell women. 


Shannah Nelson was 22. Wendy Nelson, her sister, was 20. 


The two-vehicle crash occurred shortly before 1 p.m. on an icy portion of the highway, east of the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center. The Nelsons had been heading east toward Powell in a 2006 Chevrolet Silverado. After crossing an icy bridge, the driver of the Silverado lost control, said Wyoming Highway Patrol Lt. Lee Pence, and the truck rotated and crossed the center turn lane, entering the oncoming, westbound lanes of traffic. 


While in the outside, westbound lane, Pence said the pickup was hit in the rear bumper area by an oncoming tractor trailer. The Cody resident driving the Sysco semi-truck did not appear to suffer any physical injuries, Pence said, but the Nelsons died at the scene. 


Authorities temporarily closed the highway’s westbound lanes while they worked the scene. 


Shannah Nelson — who leaves behind her husband, John, and their toddler, Jesse — worked in farming and as a cattlewoman. Wendy Nelson worked at George Farms and baked for her mother’s restaurant, the Rest Awhile Cafe in downtown Powell. 


A Nelson Family Benefit account has been set up at Bank of Powell to help the Nelsons’ family members — including the sisters’ parents, Brenda and Larry Nelson — with any financial needs. 


Friday’s fatal crash on U.S. Highway 14A marked the 23rd and 24th deaths on Wyoming’s roadways since the beginning of the year, according to state data. That’s double the number of fatalities that had been recorded at the same point in 2022 and represents the deadliest start to a year in some time.


This story was published on Feb. 28, 2023.


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