By Sarah Elmquist Squires

Managing Editor

For the second time last week, a stolen vehicle was instrument to a terrifying scenario in Riverton — this time, fatal.

A 17-year-old Riverton girl was killed when a stolen black BMW sedan careened down a hillside near the Central Wyoming Regional Airport early Wednesday morning, according to a statement from Riverton Police Chief Eric Hurtado. Other occupants of the vehicle suffered injuries, but are expected to survive, Hurtado told the Ranger.

Police were called at approximately 5:30 a.m. on Wednesday to the scene on Valley View Road, where the 17-year-old was pronounced dead. Other occupants were taken by ambulance for treatment. 

Investigators later determined the BMW had been stolen from a home near the Riverton Golf Course sometime overnight. 

Not the only one

Another child — an 11-year-old boy asleep in the back seat — was injured after a high-speed chase and crash in a stolen vehicle on Sunday.

According to the Riverton Police Department (RPD), the driver had stopped and entered a business on the 400 block of North Federal; the car with the sleeping child may have been left running, Hurtado told the Ranger.

RPD was contacted at around 3 a.m. with a call: the car had been stolen with the child inside. 

A deputy spotted the vehicle a short time later and attempted to stop it, but the suspect led police on a high-speed chase through Riverton that reached speeds of 80 mph before crashing into a fence at Forest Drive and 12th Street East. 

The suspect fled on foot and was not apprehended at the scene. The boy was taken to the hospital for the treatment of minor injuries.

More chases

RPD was also involved in a chase last Friday morning at 7:30 a.m., when officers spotted a vehicle driven by Joshua Keele, 37, Riverton, on the 600 block of West Main. They recognized Keele as having a felony warrant for his arrest, and when they attempted to stop the 2006 Mazda, Keele led them on a chase that reached 50 mph. 

The pursuit traveled out of Riverton, with Keele increasing to 80 mph while driving westbound. About a half mile east of the Kinnear store, a Fremont County Sheriff’s Office deputy deployed spike strips, which disabled the vehicle, and Keele was taken into custody. In addition to his initial felony warrant, he was also charged with eluding police. 

Those with information about any of these incidents are urged to contact police at 307-856-4891.