Head On Crash Resulting In Five Deaths May Have Been Suicide

Nov 17, 2011

Authorities believe a head-on crash that killed five people near Lander last week wasn't an accident but a suicide that resulted in the deaths of four others.

Seventeen year-old Mathew Denton was driving a Chevy Suburban northbound on Wyoming 789, when it crossed into oncoming traffic and collided with a Dodge caravan carrying four occupants.

Investigators found that Denton had been driving 97 miles per hour, and there was no evidence of brake marks from his vehicle or an attempt to avoid the collision, according to a Wyoming Highway Patrol statement.

Text messages gathered from Denton’s cell phone show he might have been distraught at the time of the crashand toxicology reports are pending.

Arvin Surrell, Corina Surrell, their son Ethan and his girlfriend, Melinda Escamilla,  had been riding in the Caravan. They were all pronounced dead at the scene.