Wichita woman convicted of killing driver in Wyoming crash

Posted: Updated:
Tonya Hightower (Albany County Sheriff's Office) Tonya Hightower (Albany County Sheriff's Office)
LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP/KAKE) -

A Wichita woman has been convicted in the deadly crash she caused when she fell asleep while driving a tractor-trailer in Wyoming.

The Laramie Boomerang reports an Albany County jury found 48-year-old Tonya Hightower guilty Wednesday of aggravated homicide by vehicle.

Authorities say Hightower drove through a median into oncoming traffic on Interstate 80 after she fell asleep in March 2018. Her truck collided with the car driven by 57-year-old Vidal Madera of Laramie.

Wyoming Highway Patrol says Madera suffered "extreme, fatal injuries" and was ejected from his car despite wearing a seatbelt.

Hightower told authorities after the crash that she lost control of the vehicle but didn't know what happened. Court documents say Hightower did not test positive for narcotics.

Hightower's husband says his wife was wrongly convicted and that they plan to appeal the conviction. 

Check out these photos from across KAKEland snapped by our viewers, staff and local officials. Do you have pictures to share with us? Email them to news@kake.com.

MORE SLIDESHOWS HERE