|Driver pleads not guilty in fatal crash|
|February 28, 2013 Jerry Purvis|
Ethan Kaufman, 22 of Cheyenne, Wyo. entered a not guilty plea in a fatality crash that could potentially send him to prison for the next 60 years.
Kaufman’s plea was entered during his arraignment on Feb. 20 in Goshen County District Court. A trial date is still to be scheduled.
Kaufman is charged with two counts of aggravated homicide by vehicle in the rollover accident that took the lives of Hallie Anderson, 19 and Alexis Wheeler, 18, both of Scottsbluff. The accident occurred in the early morning hours of Jan. 9 just west of the Wyoming/Nebraska state line.
Two other passengers in Kaufman’s pickup, Tyler Hill of Lyman and Stetson Allen of Morrill, were injured in the accident. Kaufman was also charged with two counts of driving under the influence of alcohol causing serious bodily injury.
Data retrieved from the vehicle revealed that Kaufman’s pickup was traveling at 99 mph when he lost control and left the road. About 600 feet from the highway, the pickup hit an embankment at 57 mph before rolling over. Kaufman was given a blood alcohol test two hours after the accident, which showed he was legally intoxicated.
A Wyoming State Patrol investigation found that Kaufman was driving west on Highway 92 and missed a slight left turn near Lyman.
The pickup drifted off the road, went into the ditch and collided with a private driveway approach. Officers dispatched to the scene found beer bottles and a cooler in the immediate area.
Kaufman is free after posting bond. He’s being represented by the Goshen County Public Defender. If he’s found guilty on all four charges, he could face up to 60 years in prison.