Wyoming News Briefs OCTOBER 31
October 31, 2019
Walgreens sued in overdose
CHEYENNE – Unidentified pharmacists from the Walgreens on Lincolnway are accused of giving a person the wrong dose of their prescription, which caused him to overdose.
Eric and Jennifer Smith are suing Walgreens and John Does 1 and 2, who are alleged to be the licensed pharmacist or technicians that filled the prescription, in U.S. District Court over the allegedly faulty prescription. The Smiths are suing Walgreens for professional malpractice, negligence, negligent hiring and retention, and agency/respondent superior.
The lawsuit is asking for damages for the loss of enjoyment of life, loss of physical and mental functioning, loss of earnings, medical expenses and more. A jury trial is being requested in the case.
According to court documents:
On Sept. 28, 2017, Eric Smith got a prescription from his doctor for 25 mg of Mysoline, which is a highly potent barbiturate, for his seizure and tremor condition.
Smith went to the Walgreens pharmacy on Lincolnway to fill his prescription per his doctor’s orders. Instead of getting the prescribed dose, pharmacists gave Smith 250 mg instead – 10 times the dosage Smith was prescribed.
This meant as Smith was supposed to be gradually increasing his dose to 75 mg, he ended up taking 750 mg. This caused his original condition to get worse, and he experienced new “horrible debilitating” side effects, including uncontrollable crying, shaking, tremors, extreme nightmares, sleep walking, falling, vomiting, uncontrollable nausea, appetite loss and extreme weight loss, according to the lawsuit.
Due to these side effects, he was bedridden for long periods of time, had hallucinations and suicidal thoughts.
Driver in 2018 construction death was impaired
CODY (WNE) — When Cody man Ronald Frankenberry II’s tractor-trailer hauling truck fell off a cliff on the Chief Joseph Highway slide project last fall, he was highly impaired and didn’t engage the brakes, according to a report released Monday.
The Wyoming Highway Patrol received the final summary from Wyoming Occupation Safety and Health Administration. The investigation determined the crash was not caused by mechanical error.
The crash occurred Oct. 12, 2018, when Frankenberry’s truck ran off a 250-foot cliff while working on the Chief Joseph Slide repair project.
Frankenberry, 26, was working as a truck driver for Oftedal Construction, a contractor on the Wyoming Department of Transportation project, according to WYDOT.
The contractor was cited by OSHA for allowing an impaired driver to operate heavy equipment. OSHA said all safety deficiencies noted were corrected.
The highway patrol report noted evidence at the scene showed the rock truck had vaulted off the mountain, rotated vertically 180 degrees, and landed upside down in Dead Indian Creek. Frankenberry was wearing his lap-only seat belt but succumbed to his injuries sustained at the scene of the crash.
Wyoming Highway Patrol and WY OSHA determined there were no signs of braking before the crash. The tractor-trailer was in seventh gear with the manual braking and manual engine retarder levers in their operational position.
The blood sample from the Park County Coroner’s Office confirmed Frankenberry was highly impaired at the time of the rock truck crash.
Cold snap threatens beets
LOVELL (WNE) — As an arctic cold front hit Wyoming this week, with temperatures sinking as low as 2 degrees Wednesday morning, an already damaged beet crop remains frozen in the ground as Western Sugar suspends harvest.
“It’s definitely not good,” Casey Crosby, a Lovell area farmer, said.
An early October freeze had already left “nothing untouched,” Crosby said. “Any beets now in the ground are just toasted.”
It’s been at least 10 years since a series of early-season frosts have hit the region like this. In 2009, a frost caused Wyoming Sugar to leave 25 percent of their crop in the ground.
“We dug beets until the second week of November,” Vice Chairman of Western Sugar Cooperative Ric Rodriguez recalled. “The beets got to a point where you couldn’t really do anything with them.”
Harvest currently stands at 65 to 66 percent complete for the region. If the warmer spell hitting later this week stays for the span of November, with temperatures reaching highs in the 40s, the situation might be salvageable, Rodriguez said.
That fact doesn’t make it any less nerve-wracking for growers. 2019 might turn out better than 2009, Crosby reckons, but what is most certainly worse is the economic situation most farmers find themselves in.
“We’re going to get more beets out of the ground than we had in 2009, we’re going to get beets dug up next week,” Crosby said. “What makes this worse than 2009 is because all the farmers are not in good shape financially.”
Wyoming Highway 130 closed for season
LARAMIE (WNE) — The Wyoming Department of Transportation has closed the Snowy Range Scenic Byway over the Snowies for the winter.
The road was first closed Oct. 20 “due to hazardous winter conditions, large snowdrifts, and poor visibility,” according to a press release from WYDOT, whose officials then decided this week to close the road for this season “after additional winter storms caused conditions to deteriorate further.”
The Oct. 20 closure date is two weeks earlier than any other year since at least 2010.
Last year, Highway 130 closed Nov. 3. In past years, the highway closed Nov. 13 in 2011, Dec. 7 in 2012, Nov. 4 in 2013, Nov. 15 in 2014, Nov. 11 in 2015, Nov. 28 in 2016, and Nov. 20 in 2017.
The current exact closure is between mile marker 48 above Ryan Park on the west and mile marker 36 near Green Rock on the east.
According to WYDOT’s press release, Highway 130 has a target opening date of Memorial Day weekend, and crews from Laramie and Saratoga will work to reopen the road in the spring.
Highway 130 tops out at more than 10,800 feet in elevation.
Guernsey teacher wins national Harbor Freight competition
GUERNSEY (WNE) — It isn't often that you find Troy Reichert at a loss for words. A technical trades teacher at Guernsey-Sunrise Schools, Reichert always has something to say and is known for his quick wit and mischievous side. A friend to all and a dedicated husband, father, and educator, he spends most of his waking hours doing something to make life better for others.
On Oct. 24, the tables were turned a bit as Aaron Schnelle, Harbor Freight Tools Regional Manager, honored Reichert as one of 15 second-place entries in Harbor Freight's Tools for Schools competition. The award included a portable tool cart and a check for $50,000 with a 70-30 percent split between the school and Reichert.
Reichert told those gathered that despite the presence of his name on the check, he considered the award to belong to everyone.
"This really isn't my award," said Reichert. "Projects at the (National) Guard Camp and the VFW--that's what made all of this possible to begin with, and then the support we've had from the administration to other staff members, and of course all the students who've enrolled in the classes and worked on the projects...that's who this award is for."
Wyoming State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow also attended the event and praised Reichert's relationship with his students and his efforts to teach them skills that can be utilized in the real world.
Two charged in attempted meth distribution
RIVERTON (WNE) — In what the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office called a “multi-agency coordinated effort,” two people were arrested near South Pass on Sunday, charged with planning to market three pounds of methamphetamine in the Thermopolis area.
The Hot Springs County Sheriff notified the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office with a tip that 49- year-old Joe Charles Curtis Sr. of Taft, California, and 43-year-old Moranda Standingrock of Rygate, Montana, were headed from Las Vegas to Thermopolis to sell meth.
Informants identified Standingrock’s vehicle, and FSO deputies stopped the vehicle near Lyon’s Valley Road.
A Lander Police Department Officer brought a dog trained to detect controlled substances. The drug dog alerted at the driver’s side door of the vehicle, and upon a later search, police discovered three pounds of meth, a digital scale, ledger, and packaging plastic baggies.
Some of the meth was in a steel can of bathroom cleaner with a false bottom, and much more was found within “a number of candies” in the truck, according to court documents.
The Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation and Wyoming Highway Patrol also aided in the investigation.
Curtis and Standingrock each face up to 60 years in prison and $75,000 in fines on felony charges. Each is being held under a cash bond of $100,000.
Man accused of performing sex act in front of library
POWELL (WNE) — A 23-year-old Powell man was arrested last week after he allegedly performed a sex act in front of the public library and in view of multiple children.
Dylon G. Miears has been charged with committing an indecent or obscene act in the presence of children and possession of a controlled substance. He pleaded not guilty to the two misdemeanor counts at his initial appearance in Park County Circuit Court.
Police had responded to the Powell library shortly after 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 22, after an adult reported that a man who had a wheelchair was masturbating in public. When Sgt. Paul Sapp and other officers arrived at the library, they reportedly heard some children talking about the incident, too.
Police knew that Miears was in a wheelchair from a recent medical procedure and spotted him in a nearby alley, charging documents say. He initially denied the allegations — saying that he’d just been using the library’s WiFi — but ultimately admitted to accessing a pornographic website and sexually touching himself, Sapp wrote in an affidavit.
“I asked [Miears] why he would do that in an area where little kids were at,” Sapp said. Miears said he knew it was wrong, but said, in part, that he hoped a girl would notice him, the affidavit alleges.