Coroner: Teen driver in Wyo. crash wanted to die

November 17, 2011 - 2:00 PM

LANDER, Wyo. (AP) — Authorities say a head-on crash that killed five people in central Wyoming last week wasn't an accident but a suicide that resulted in the deaths of four others.

The crash happened Nov. 10 four miles south of Lander.

Fremont County Coroner Ed McAuslan tells KOVE-KDLY Radio (http://bit.ly/rCrftN) that 17-year-old Matthew Denton deliberately turned the Chevrolet Suburban he was driving into the other lane.

The Suburban crashed head-on into a 2005 Dodge Caravan minivan. Denton died at a hospital in Casper shortly after the crash.

The wreck also killed everybody in the minivan: 41-year-old Corina Surrell; her ex-husband, Arvin Surrell; their 25-year-old son, Ethan; and his 21-year-old girlfriend, Melinda Escamilla.

The Surrells lived in Fort Washakie.

McAuslan says authorities determined the crash was intentional after inspecting a vehicle data recording device in the Suburban and based on other findings from their investigation.