UPDATE: Coroner Identifies Men Who Died; Highway Patrol Releases New Details in Casper Crash
Authorities on Friday afternoon confirmed that Thursday's fatal crash at the intersection of First and Poplar in Casper was the result of a police pursuit.
The crash, which involved a black Ford Focus hitting a Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck, killed the two people in the Focus and sent the occupants of the pickup -- an adult and two children -- to the hospital.
Late Friday afternoon, Natrona County Coroner Connie Jacobson issued a press release that identified the men who died:
"The two men who died in the car crash at Poplar and First Streets have been identified as driver of the vehicle, Douglas W. Arthur, 39 years old and passenger Lyle Tsinnijinnie, 34 years old. Both men were living in Casper at the time of their deaths. The investigation is ongoing."
The Wyoming Highway Patrol says at 9:05 p.m. Thursday, a trooper tried to stop the Focus, which was reportedly traveling at 68 mph in a 40-mph zone on WY 254.
When the trooper activated his emergency lights, the Focus stopped for a red light at the intersection of WY 254 and US 20/26. The light turned green, and the driver turned left onto US 20/26, heading east toward Casper.
The man who was driving the Focus then accelerated at a high rate of speed in an effort to elude the trooper, the Patrol says. The trooper knew he was close to the Casper city limits, so he discontinued the pursuit by turning off his vehicle's emergency lights and siren, and coming to a stop.
As the trooper started to turn around and drive away in the opposite direction of the fleeing vehicle, the Focus hit the pickup at the Poplar intersection.
The Casper Police Department continues to investigate the crash. Police have not yet released further details.