Casper man killed in head-on with Semi on Saturday afternoon north of Riverton

A fatal crash north of Riverton Saturday afternoon resulted in the death of 25 year old Michael J. Porath, who was living and working in Casper. The Porath family home, however, is in Thermopolis. The crash involved two vehicles on Wyoming 789 at mile post 109, just three miles north of the city limits of Riverton at 3:09 p.m. Porath was driving a 1986 Chevrolet Silverado pickup southbound on WY 789 when for unknown reasons, he braked hard locking up the brakes on the pickup. After the braking, the pickup entered a spin. During the spin, the truck traveled across five lanes of WY 789 and crashed into a northbound 2014 Kenworth BTI tractor and trailer driven by 60 year old Choteau, Montana resident Richard Chadwick. After the initial collision with the Chevy, the Kenworth tripped and rolled over causing some of the load in the trailer, identified as soda ash, to spill onto the highway. The truck also partially blocked the northbound lanes of the highway. Porath was ejected and sustained fatal injuries on scene. It is unknown if he was wearing his seat belt. Chadwick, who was wearing his seat belt, was transported by ground ambulance to SageWest Hospital in Riverton where he was treated and released. Fremont County Coroner Mark Stratmoen said it was the most violent crash that he had investigated in memory. He said at the point of the crash, a flash explosion occurred as fuel in the pickup was instantly atomized. Debris was scattered in a wide area. He said the truck basically disintegrated upon impact with the BTI rig. The crash caused a nine hour-long closure of the highway with traffic being detoured around the crash scene on county roads. Speed is currently being investigated as the contributing factor in this crash. Mr. Porath marked the 132nd highway fatality in Wyoming for 2015 compared to 135 fatalities in the same time period in 2014. *Feature Photo: The crash scene by Korbin Witt / Pitchengine Communities* *#county10 #oilcity #reboot*