Elk CWD investigators killed – 7/10/2005

  • October 30, 2013 at 1:20 am #818

    from bridget – 07/10/2005
    Hi Guys,
    This is a more complete account of the husband and wife team. Gosh, it has come from Hong Kong. Thanks Doug.

    Sun Jul 10, 2005 10:25 am

    Here is an article about the husband -wife team that were killed.
    Cheers, Doug

    CWD researchers killed in snowy highway crash
    Associated Press

    CHEYENNE — Husband-and-wife wildlife veterinarians who were
    nationally prominent experts on chronic wasting disease and
    brucellosis were killed in a snowy-weather crash on U.S. 287 in
    northern Colorado, authorities confirmed Thursday.

    Tom Thorne and Beth Williams, both of rural Albany County, Wyo.,
    died when their pickup truck hit a jackknifed trailer Wednesday
    night, according to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and
    Colorado Highway Patrol.

    Williams, 53, had taught at the University of Wyoming since 1982 and
    was also familiar with wildlife diseases. “She was probably the
    foremost chronic wasting disease expert in the country,” Game and
    Fish spokesman Al Langston said.

    Thorne, 63, was acting director of the Wyoming Game and Fish
    Department for nine months in 2002 and 2003. He worked in the
    department for 35 years before retiring in 2003 and was a prominent
    researcher of chronic wasting disease in deer and elk, as well as of
    brucellosis in bison and elk.

    The accident happened around 10 p.m. on snowpacked pavement near
    Virginia Dale a few miles south of the Wyoming line, according to
    Colorado State Trooper Scott Boskovich.

    Both vehicles had been going at least 10 mph below the speed limit.
    After spinning out of control and coming to a stop in the northbound
    lanes, the trailer was struck by Williams’ and Thorne’s 2002 Ford
    pickup, which was wedged underneath, according to Master Trooper Ron

    The rig driver, Bruce Gustin, 45, of Divide, Colo., was unhurt.
    Neither drug nor alcohol use was suspected.

    Tom Buchanan, vice president for academic affairs at the University
    of Wyoming, said he was saddened to hear of the deaths. “She will be
    missed by her colleagues her students and her friends who include
    everyone who cares about wildlife and ranching in the Rocky Mountain
    West,” he said of Williams in a prepared statement.

    Williams earned a bachelor’s in zoology from the University of
    Maryland-College Park, followed by a doctorate of veterinary
    medicine from Purdue in 1977 and a doctorate in veterinary pathology
    from Colorado State University in 1981.

    She earned several honors during her 22 years at the University of
    Wyoming, including the Wildlife Disease Association’s Distinguished
    Service Award in 1996 and, in 1999, the Wyoming Game Warden
    Association’s award for outstanding assistance to wildlife law

    Thorne was one of three finalists for Game and Fish director in
    2003. Previously he was assistant chief and chief of the
    department’s Services Division, and branch chief of the state’s
    Wildlife Veterinary Research Services.

    Over the years he was also vice president of the Wildlife Disease
    Association, chairman of the Advisory Council for the American
    Association of Wildlife Veterinarians, and chairman of the U.S.
    Health Association’s Wildlife Diseases Committee.

    He held a bachelor’s degree in zoology and doctorate in veterinary
    medicine from Oklahoma State University.

    Chronic wasting disease is similar to mad cow disease, causing brain
    wasting and eventually death. It emerged in Colorado and Wyoming
    more than 30 years ago and has been found in recent years as far
    away as Minnesota and Wisconsin.

    Brucellosis is a bacterial disease that can cause cattle to abort
    their calves. It is common in elk and bison in northwest Wyoming and
    Yellowstone National Park. Brucellosis also has been detected in a
    handful of cattle herds in Wyoming over the past year, causing the
    state to lose its federal status as a brucellosis-free state.

    Copyright © 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
    Copyright © The Billings Gazette, a division of Lee Enterprises.

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