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Motorhome/toad make trip down Teton Pass

Explorer II
Explorer II

Fortunately, it wasn't worse.

Explorer II
Explorer II
These are probably the same people that say they don’t need Tow/Haul mode engaged or don’t like to downshift because the engine is too noisy or it will get damaged!
Wife Kim
Son Brandon 17yrs
Daughter Marissa 16yrs
Dog Bailey

12 Forest River Georgetown 350TS Hellwig sway bars, BlueOx TrueCenter stabilizer

13 Ford Explorer Roadmaster Stowmaster 5000, VIP Tow>
A bad day camping is
better than a good day at work!

Explorer III
Explorer III
There was a sign saying "Free popcorn and coffee while we repair your brakes".
2009 Holiday Rambler 42' Scepter with ISL 400 Cummins
750 Watts Solar Morningstar MPPT 60 Controller
2014 Grand Cherokee Overland


I'm glad no one was hurt. Having driven down it once with a smaller trailer in tow, we've learned that going around to Alpine Junction and driving up the Snake River Canyon into Jackson, is the only way to go.
2011 Bighorn 3055RL, 2011 F350 DRW 6.7L 4x4 Diesel Lariat and Hensley TrailerSaver BD3, 1992 Jeep ZJ and 1978 Coleman Concord Pop-Up for remote camping
Dave & Renee plus (Champ, Molly, Paris, Missy, and Maggie in spirit), Mica, Mabel, and Melton

Explorer II
Explorer II
I remember reading in a truck or RV publication many years ago that the Teton pass among some others in other locations is not recommend if not actually prohibited from use by motorhomes and towed trailers. Before I started my trek thru the Rockies, Cascades and Sierra Nevadas with my TT I did my homework research well and avoided those suicide spots. Some people are too smuck lazy to do this though. Cheers to youa.

Explorer II
Explorer II
Walking into the sunlight after lunch at the Stagecoach Bar on Tuesday afternoon, Angus M. Thuermer Jr. heard a noise that pierced his post-lunch calm.

“It was an incredibly loud, violent grinding crashing sound of metal on metal,” Thuermer said. “Something must have hit the guard rail.”

In the seconds that ensued, Thuermer watched as a motor home towing a car careened past the bar at 50 mph, swerving into oncoming traffic and hitting a truck that crossed its path. The motor home finally came to a stop on the lawn of the Exxon gas station after crashing into some aspen trees.

Thuermer, a journalist for WyoFile, witnessed it all: the tires screeching, metal crunching and glass breaking.

Like Thuermer, a 61-year-old driver from New Mexico heard the noise. The man was waiting to turn left onto First Street when he looked up and saw the motor home-towing-car combination barreling toward him. He floored it through a gap into the oncoming traffic.

The sedan the RV was towing tagged the Ford F-150 on the driver’s rear side.

The New Mexico couple then spun “180 degrees toward Teton Gravity Research,” Thuermer said.

After a “barely coherent” call to 911, one of multiple calls that emergency dispatchers received, Thuermer started waving down drivers to slow them down for the crash ahead.

Thuermer said ambulances arrived to check out both drivers, but nobody appeared to be hurt or accept transport.

Along with three of his lunch compatriots, a smattering of other people watched it all unfold. One bystander had a close call.

“I saw one guy in a red striped rugby shirt and bike helmet on the sidewalk by the ’Coach run for his life across the Streetfood lawn,” Thuermer said. “He looked over his shoulder and started running. It’s not every day you see someone running for their life.”

Both the sprinting bystander and a potentially deadly head-on collision were avoided, Thuermer said.

“It’s a miracle nobody was killed,” Thuermer said. “It’s a total miracle.”

Highway Patrol Trooper Chad Ludwig responded to the incident. Ludwig said the 77-year-old Colorado man behind the wheel had just passed the runaway truck arrestor on Teton Pass when he realized his brakes had gone out.

Ludwig said the man’s brakes failed from overuse coming down the hill.

“He was pretty shook up,” Ludwig said of the Colorado driver. “He kept looking for places he could get off the road, but because of the steep embankment or the cars coming he wasn’t able to do that.”

Ludwig said anybody in a motor home or a big truck needs to be “shifted down” on that 10% grade coming into Wilson from Teton Pass.

“They need to be in their lowest gear, and the engine brake needs to be on and activated so they don’t have to ride the brakes to a point that in this case, the brakes get so hot that they fail.”

Tuesday’s crash was the fourth Teton Pass runaway collision Thuermer has seen, about one per decade.

One of the scariest parts for Thuermer and gas station employees was how close the motor home was from knocking down the Exxon station.

Ash Jocz, a cashier at Basecamp, watched the silver sedan the RV was towing ricochet into the Ford F-150 couple from New Mexico. She said it was a “crazy couple of hours.”

“The sedan was totally, totally crushed,” Jocz said. “We got fire extinguishers because we thought the back was about to catch fire. It would have hit that pole, and that has all of the lines to the gas, so that would have been bad.”

Thuermer said the motor home was within “spitting distance” of the fuel pumps.

Highway Patrol and sheriff’s deputies blocked off traffic both ways. Aspen trees did some blocking of their own.

“You can see where the aspen is all crooked: That’s where they crashed into it,” Jocz said, pointing out the bent trees. “It’s just really good because they would have crashed into our gas pumps otherwise if those trees weren’t there.”

The motor home crash was not the first or the last that law enforcement dealt with that day: Ludwig responded to two other rear-endings Tuesday.

The first occurred at 8:37 a.m. on Moose-Wilson Road near Calico Bar and Restaurant when a 56-year-old local man rear-ended a 60-year-old woman who has a home here but lives in Louisiana. Something fell on the passenger side, so the man looked down, leading him to crash into the woman.

An ambulance arrived, and he was taken to the hospital for a head injury. The woman self-transported later.

Ludwig said troopers blocked off traffic in both lanes, snarling traffic that was compounded by another rear-ending an hour later on the Snake River Bridge. Two locals were involved, and no one was injured. Ludwig said the two collisions backed up traffic until 12:30 p.m. A “slow crawl” continued until 2 p.m.

He reminded drivers to wear their seatbelts and be attentive, especially when driving in heavy traffic.

Ludwig said part of the high volume is a closure 7 miles into Grand Teton National Park. The southern portion of Moose-Wilson Road is under construction between the Granite Canyon Entrance and the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve. The road is closed to traffic on weekdays through late July.

“People drive out there, turn around and get caught in the congestion,” Ludwig said. “A lot of traffic that’s been able to go that way can’t and has to turn around and come back.”

Contact Kate Ready at 732-7076 or
2024 Chev 3500 CCLB Diesel
Four Wheel Camper Granby Shell


but it's behind a paywall. 😞
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