Investigating biologists killed — 01/02/2005

  • October 1, 2013 at 8:25 pm #620

    Can anyone say “Dead Elk” in Whyoming?
    Posted by Rocky on

    Note: forwarded message attached.

    Sun Jan 2, 2005 2:09 pm

    America’s Foremost CWD
    Expert Killed In Crash
    By Mead Gruver
    The Billings Gazette

    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.

    Drs. Tom Thorne and Beth Williams, both of rural
    Albany County, Wyoming, 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 9 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 snow-packed
    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 Watkins. 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

    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 enforcement.

    Thorne was one of 3 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

    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.

    ProMED-mail promed@…

    Tom and Beth were wonderful colleagues and tremendous,
    insightful researchers who followed science, not
    allowing personal bias to affect their work. This is
    indeed sad news, and many of us will miss them, but
    the causes they championed and those who have
    benefited from their research will miss them even
    more. – Mod.TG….tg/pg/lm

    Patricia A. Doyle, PhD Please visit my “Emerging
    Diseases” message board at:
    Zhan le Devlesa tai sastimasa Go with God and in Good

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