Two Cody residents died Saturday when they crashed their Harley Davidson motorcycle head-on into an SUV about 20 miles north of Cody on the Belfry Highway.
Tim Zeller, 57, and Stacey Zeller, 54, died in the accident. Funeral services are pending.
The incident occurred in the Chapman Bench area. According to a Wyoming Highway Patrol report from the weekend, just after noon the motorcycle driver moved into oncoming traffic to pass a Toyota Tundra while heading north.
“The motorcycle did not have enough space to pass the Tundra,” the report reads. “The motorcycle collided into the front passenger side of the Highlander in an offset head-on collision.”
The Zellers, both of whom were wearing helmets, were pronounced dead at the scene. Driver inattention is being investigated on the part of Tim Zeller as being the possible contributing factor.
Vaughn Gdula, 70, was the driver of the Highlander and received medical attention at the scene. Passenger Charlotte Gdula, 67, was hospitalized. Both are Cody residents and were wearing seat belts.
The force of impact removed the passenger side wheel assembly of the SUV.
Responders managed to get one lane open quickly to allow for vehicles to continue on.
“Enough thanks can’t be given to the great emergency response professionals who had to work this volatile crash,” a trooper said in the report. “To the emergency medical services, fire department, coroner’s office, Park County Sheriff’s Office, state troopers and Wyoming Department of Highway Patrol, thanks for all you do for the public.”
It was the second fatal accident of the year in Park County. On June 29 a women was killed in a two-vehicle collision near Meeteetse.
To date 82 people in the state have been killed in vehicle crashes, the highest total at this point of the year in at least the last six years.
Last year there were 49 fatalities as of July 8.
“Pay attention to your surroundings, drive defensively and use good judgment,” Cody supervisor Lt. Lee Pence said. “This shouldn’t be happening in good weather.”