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Driver Of Vehicle Involved In Yellowstone Fatal Accident

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Date: March 1, 2007
Contact: Nash, (307) 344-2010
Contact: Vallie, (307) 344-2012

Demolished vehicle upside down by river edge.
NPS Photo

(Re-sent to correct length of supervised probation)

The driver of a vehicle involved in a fatal accident last September near Mammoth Hot Springs has been found guilty of manslaughter.

27-year-old Colby Anthony Skippergosh of Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to spend 57 months in federal prison during a February 16 appearance before Judge William F. Downs in U.S. District Court in Cheyenne, Wyoming.  He also faces 3 years of supervised probation and a $100 special assessment.

Skippergosh was northbound between Mammoth Hot Springs and Gardiner, early on the morning of September 6, 2006, when he lost control of his 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche. The vehicle skidded for over 160 feet, struck a guardrail, and plunged 45 feet down the embankment, coming to rest upside down in the Gardner River.

The hazardous and technical rescue and recovery operation involved over 30 emergency personnel from the National Park Service, the Gardiner Fire Department and the Park County, Montana Sheriff’s Department. It took rescuers over 90 minutes to free Skippergosh from the wreckage.

The impact of the crash killed 27 -year-old Meghann R. Williams, also of Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, who was the lone passenger in the vehicle.  Witnesses saw the vehicle speeding through Mammoth Hot Springs just prior to the accident.  Tests later showed Skippergosh had a blood alcohol level of over 0.211 percent. The legal blood alcohol limit in Montana is 0.08 percent.

National Park Service rangers and special agents were aided in their investigation by the Montana Highway Patrol and the Park County, Montana Coroner’s Office. 

Did You Know?

Dog Hooked to Travois for Transporting Goods.

Some groups of Shoshone Indians, who adapted to a mountain existence, chose not to acquire the horse. These included the Sheep Eaters, or Tukudika, who used dogs to transport food, hides, and other provisions. The Sheep Eaters lived in many locations in Yellowstone.