Wyoming student accused of driving drunk in crash that killed eight athletes

Wednesday, September 19th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) _ A University of Wyoming student was charged with vehicular homicide for allegedly driving drunk during a head-on collision that killed eight student-athletes from the school.

The complaint accused Clinton Haskins of causing the accident, which killed eight members of the cross-country team. Haskins, a member of the university's rodeo team, was charged with eight counts of aggravated vehicular homicide.

The Albany County Attorney's Office and police refused to comment.

Haskins faces up to 20 years in prison on each count if convicted. Bond was set at $100,000. The aggravated nature of the charges is based on Haskins' alleged intoxication.

A court hearing was scheduled for Friday.

Haskins, 21, of Maybell, Colo., was listed in fair condition at Ivinson Memorial Hospital. He suffered severe cuts, some internal injuries and a concussion, his grandmother said in a telephone interview from her home in Maybell.

``He's very emotional. We're all very emotional,'' Sally Haskins said. Haskins' parents and teen-age sister are with him at the hospital, she said.

She also said her grandson was a careful driver with much driving experience from traveling the rodeo circuit.

The crash occurred about 1:30 a.m. Sunday, when Haskins' pickup collided head-on with a sport utility vehicle carrying the eight cross-country team members. The runners were returning from a trip to Fort Collins, Colo.

Haskins was on his way to see his girlfriend in Fort Collins when the crash occurred, Sally Haskins said. Police say Haskins' pickup appeared to have drifted into the oncoming lane of the two-lane highway.

The dead were identified as Cody B. Brown, 21, of Hudson, Colo.; Kyle Johnson, 20, of Riverton, Wyo.; Joshua D. Jones, 22, of Laramie; Justin Lambert-Belanger, 20, of Timmins, Ontario; Morgan McLeland, 21, of Gillette, Wyo.; Kevin L. Salverson, 19, of Cheyenne, Wyo.; Nicholas J. Schabron, 20, of Laramie; and Shane Shatto, 19, of Douglas, Wyo.

A memorial service for the athletes was scheduled for next Tuesday at the University of Wyoming Arena-Auditorium, university officials announced.

The men's and women's cross-country teams at the university have withdrawn from an upcoming meet hosted by the University of New Mexico. To honor the eight runners, uniforms worn by the school's athletes will feature an emblem bearing a winged foot and the number 8.